The Hellfire Club Archaeological Project Site Diary
The Hellfire Club Archaeological Project Site Diary was designed to be a way that people could follow the excavation and to keep up with the latest news from the dig. As well as discovering more about the nature of the monument at the rear of the Hellfire Club, one of the most important aspects of this project was to demonstrate the process of an archaeological dig to the general public. There was a tremendous level of interest during the excavation, and we were delighted to welcome visitors who wished to see the dig in process, and to ask questions and share their own stories and ideas about the site. However, we realised that many people who are interested in the dig may not have the opportunity to visit, even those who are fortunate enough to live locally, as we were only on site from Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 5pm and therefore many people would still be at work, while others may have been unable to visit due to the long climb up the hill. As part of the ‘Promotion and Outreach Strategy‘, we endeavoured to post regular, real-time updates on Facebook and Twitter, and to document the week’s discoveries in a short blogpost and video diary for YouTube.
These diaries gave an insight into what was found, along with thoughts on the evolving interpretation as each new discovery helped to cast light onto the nature of the monument. It is interesting to look back on the blogposts and videos now after completing the post-excavation analysis, and with the benefit of hindsight. Some of the interpretation that we gave at the time still stands up, and other ideas have changed considerably. In a sense, that is the true challenge of archaeology, we can only try to tell a story based on the evidence that we have at hand at the time. Of course that means that we cannot be definitively 100% accurate all of the time, but it does allow for the evolution of ideas and for the interpretation to be refined through a process of questioning and debate.
This short introductory video was created to help to promote the excavation in the week before we began the dig. We wanted as many people as possible to discover the story of the Hellfire Club, and to see the work as it progressed. Everyone has their own preference when they are looking for information, so one of the ways we tried to help people to discover the story was by having it available in a variety of media formats, including text blogposts, social media updates and short videos.