The Woodland Heritage Festival


Stay tuned for more details…


The Woodland Heritage Festival 2016

After many months of planning and organisation (and much hair pulling out) the Woodland Heritage Festival which took place on the 30th of May went off with a bang and, considering the windy day, the turnout was incredible. Over the course of the day we experienced at a minimum a 130 visitors every hour, however with some hours experiencing higher peaks than this, so overall around 750-800 visitors came to the festival.

All the volunteers did an amazing job with organising such a wide range of actives which included; craft corner for the children, pottery making, q-pits, bronze casting, Zooarchaeology workshop, Osteology workshop and an archaeological treasure hunt with prizes, from the archaeology department. The English department provided talks, some really interesting stands (and great colouring in), a fantastic heritage art installations, Renishaw Hall representatives, the history of protest poetry and much more.

So overall the day was a huge success, and a big thank you to everyone who was involved, see you all again next year!




Stay tuned for more photos from The Woodland Heritage Festival 2016…

2016 heritage festival poster

The Woodland Heritage Festival is the Archaeology in the City’s public archaeology event.

This Free festival provides you with an opportunity to experience unusual archaeological activities, learn about current local research, and discover more about their local heritage.

It also provides a great opportunity for students of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield to be involved with the public and work across different subject fields and departments. This festival brings together students, academic departments, and the public to celebrate local research, about the local community, for the local community.
See below for a list of the days events:
There are over 100 mysterious ‘Q-pits’ within Ecclesall Woods. Thought to be used for making whitecoal – a form of super-dried wood used in lead smelting – we don’t know precisely how they worked. Watch experimental archaeologists build and fire their own replica pit: can they create a kiln hot enough to dry wood?
Learn about the mysterious Q-pits of Ecclesall Woods, and watch experimental archaeologists build and fire their own replica pit as they try to produce whitecoal.
How have native animals shaped our landscape and diets? Look at animal bones with our researchers and get hands on with a wonderful teaching collection.
Ever wondered what archaeologists do when they uncover human bones? You have! Then come and find out.
+Can you help us identify the bones and name any of them
+Help us reconstruct a skeleton and work out if we are missing any anything
+Explore what information we can uncover about a person from their bones and teeth
+ Learn about local excavations of human remains
Arts and crafts:
Get hands-on with our ancient local industries and participate in Iron Age furnace building, iron smelting, bronze casting and traditional pottery crafting.
English and Performance:
English will offer performances of private histories, local narratives from the Servants of Hardwick Hall, the History of Hardwick Hall and Bess of Hardwick Hall, local linguistic and dialect discussions and an examination into the local Newspaper industry through the ages with displays of reproduced material from the Sheffield Newspaper Archives
For the kids:
There will also be a series of activities running throughout the two days for younger children as well, this will include pottery making, archaeological trails, history comic book colouring in, cave painting and drawing and soap stone carving.
Onsite parking will be closed off expect for those with disabled badges due to the volume of activities and people on the site. However there is plenty of parking in the lay-by’s along Abbey Lane, Whirlow Dale Road and Abbey Road South.
See below for a summary of last years Festival!
The Woodland Heritage Festival 2015

In June 2015 we hosted two days of free, family-friendly experimental archaeology events at the J. G. Graves Woodland Discovery Centre in Ecclesall Woods.

The Festival included hands-on activities in iron-smelting, bronze-working, pottery-making, basketry, woodwork, human skeletal investigation, zooarchaeology, and making “white coal” using a Q-Pit. There were also presentations of post-medieval music using replica instruments from the University of Sheffield music students and a series of talks on human osteology, zooarchaeology, virtual heritage and Q-pits.

The 2015 talks are available as podcasts!

Here are a few photos from the 2015 Festival!