2013 Season

Thornton Abbey Medieval & Monastic Field School 2013

Trench J Trench K Trench L Trench M

Find out what is happening at the excavation day-by-day on the dig blog!

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The 2013 excavations season has now begun!

Work will be continuing on the site throughout July and this season we are shifting our focus away from the northern earthworks and to the south-east of the site. The four main trench locations have all now been deturfed and the investigations are ongoing.

Trench J is continuing to examine the eastern central precinct, and is aiming to find out more about the post-dissolution and medieval features in this area which began to be uncovered last year in Trenches E and F. Trench K is investigating the abbot's lodge, a high status medieval building just to the south of the church, to confirm the nature and date of the buildings revealed by geophysical survey last year. Various features to the north of the church were also identified through last year's resistivity survey. These are being explored by Trench L, to determine if they relate the medieval monastery or to later uses of the site. The final trench is Trench M, which is excavating the large artificial raised mound to the south of the central precinct, the function of which remains unknown. Recent survey work suggests it may be deposits from the clearance of the monastic grounds covering a large structure of earlier date.

Trench plan

About the dig:


Location: Thornton Abbey, Ulceby, North Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

Season Dates: June 30, 2013 - July 26, 2013

Application Deadline: June 1, 2013

Program Type: Volunteer Field School

Affiliation: University of Sheffield

Project Director: Dr. Hugh Willmott & Peter Townend

volunteers excavating

How to get involved:


Contact excavation director, Dr Hugh Willmott, to apply for a place.


Dr Hugh Willmott

Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield

Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 4ET, United Kingdom

Or for general enquiries, please email the project team at:


Meet some of last year's staff and volunteers