The Archaeology Department
In the late 1980s Worcester Cathedral was the first Cathedral to employ an archaeologist full-time and several other cathedrals now have full- or part-time archaeologists on their staff. Under the Care of Cathedrals Measure 1990 the cathedral is required to have an archaeological consultant.
Chris Guy is the current Cathedral Archaeologist and also the consultant
The department has a staff of one, together with a small team of regular volunteers who assist with excavations and finds processing. For large-scale projects additional professional support is recruited to work under the direction of the Cathedral Archaeologist.
The Cathedral Archaeologist is responsible for carrying out excavations, building recording, photography, documentary research and report writing. The entire Cathedral Precinct is a scheduled monument and almost all the buildings within it are listed, including several at Grade I or II*; this requires the preparation of applications for Scheduled Monument Consent and the drawing-up of archaeological research designs for proposals which will affect below-ground deposits and/or historic fabric.
The Archaeology Department works closely with the other departments. For example, there is liaison with the Works Department and the cathedral architect to ensure that the fabric of the building is recorded before the start of restoration work, with details of the main types of stone used and evidence of any previous repairs. While the work is in progress record photographs are taken, together with details of masons' marks or re-used stones that might be revealed. Further photos are taken on completion of each phase of restoration. When timbers are exposed, usually - but not always - during work on roofs, they are recorded by drawing and photography and specialists are brought in to carry out tree-ring dating. Photographs are produced of documents and artefacts in the cathedral library in response to requests made through the Cathedral
Librarian. Another important aspect of the work is to provide information to the Cathedral's fundraiser to help gain funding for projects. In connection with visitors, talks are given focusing on the archaeology of the Cathedral and tours go to those parts of the building that normal tours don't reach.
A Symposium is held at the end of March each year at which papers are given on different aspects of the history and archaeology of the Cathedral. These papers are then published as a report and have built up into a useful database on the archaeology of the Cathedral and its precinct.
Copies of the reports are available from the Cathedral Archaeologist at £4.00 each, including UK postage and packing (the 3rd Symposium Report is only £2.00 including p&p while the 20th Symposium Report is £5.00 including UK p&p). Click here to see the full list of reports. Click here to contact the Archaeologist a request a report.
Abberley and Malvern Hills GeoPark - click here for a copy of the GeoPark leaflet which also includes self guided geology and landscape trails.