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30th September 2022

More than 1,000 people visited the South Blockhouse on Saturday 24 September to celebrate the end of the investigation into this nationally important monument.

The dig has revealed more of the remains of Hull’s South Blockhouse than at any point in the last 150 years and uncovered many stories.

With an hourly visitor rate of 226 visitors per hour, this is more than the average hourly visitor rate that a lot of major attractions would expect over the course of a year, illustrating the interest that the people of Hull have in their heritage and history.

Over the 4.5-hour period the site was open to the public, visitors were given tours of the site, children were entertained with various activities, traditional period music added to the atmosphere and visitors had the opportunity to sample some Tudor inspired food.

Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: “There was a tremendous response to the Open Day at the historic site. Families were given the opportunity to learn more about the importance of the site and take part in fun activities at the same time.

“Now the dig has concluded, there’s a period of post excavation to assess the information and analyse the discoveries found throughout the last 11 weeks.

"The site will be covered over again so it can be fully preserved for future generations, but above ground there will be a place for people and families to visit so we can get an idea of the scale of the building, hear its stories and learn about the part it played in Hull's rich maritime history."

The dig was led by professional archaeologists from Humber Field Archaeology, who have worked in partnership with HEY! Volunteering and charities from across the city to celebrate Hull’s rich archaeological heritage and reveal how the South Blockhouse reflects Hull’s history over the last c.500 years.

Peter Connelly, Archaeology Manager at Humber Field Archaeology, said: “The open day was a fabulously positive achievement all round, the Goodwin Trust really helped bring the open day activities in front of the site alive, and everyone worked very hard on the day.”

Chief Executive for the Council for British Archaeology, Neil Redfern also visited the site, and saw the results of the largest community archaeology excavation seen in the city for more than 25 years.

Also, across the 11 weeks of the community volunteer driven dig more than 4,400 hours were given to the dig by over 120 volunteers from across Hull and its satellite towns and villages.

The site is now closed to the public and will be covered over during October.

This phase of the programme has been made possible by a £1m grant from National Highways, who have Government funding to deliver benefits to communities above and beyond maintaining and operating England’s strategic road network.

The South Blockhouse will compliment Hull Maritime, a locally led project funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, a key cultural regeneration scheme in the heart of Hull’s city centre that will protect and celebrate 800 years of Hull’s maritime heritage.