A LOCAL 'Time Team' has received a funding boost to unearth Holcombe's past.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded £10,000 to the Holcombe Moor Heritage Group to continue their research into the archaeological history of Holcombe Moor, where the armed forces have a training centre.

The Heritage Group has a long association with the training area having completed several surveys and digs on the site.

The most recent investigation, directed by Neil Coldrick, the heritage group’s archaeological director, identified the remains of a rare medieval ironworking site.

The award, which comes from the MOD’s Conservation Stewardship Scheme, will be used to commission a geophysical survey of the area, analysis of medieval pottery and the slag from the site, and radiocarbon dating.

Mr Coldrick said: “The commitment and moral support we’ve received from the MOD over the years has been tremendous and has resulted in the discovery of a rare, well-preserved, iron furnace site, previously unknown in the area. We know from our desk-based research and study of technical aerial images there was a lot of activity in this area over a long period of time”.

Phil Abramson, the MOD Archaeology Advisor for the region added: “Volunteers of the Heritage Group have worked for several years on the training area using their own funds and resources to do their work. This grant is an endorsement of our belief that the Heritage Group are the right people to investigate the history of the area”.

The activity of the Heritage Group dovetails with military training and access on to the site is dependent on the consent and support of the MOD.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s Training Safety Officer, Major Jimmy Evans, is responsible for the safety of all users of the training area including Heritage Group volunteers.

He said: ‘‘This is great news for the Heritage Group and well deserved; they have been safely accessing Holcombe Moor Training Area for many years and are very welcome.”