dig blog post 3

Monday 17th was our first day at Holton Lee. Digging this new site was a last-minute arrangement as the Roman Road dig finished earlier than expected.


dig blog post 1

The first day of the dig got off to a good start, with eight diggers getting to work in the 15-metre-long trench. The diggers came from as near as Sandford, and as far as Bournemouth, and ranged from the experienced to the first-timer.

Getting stuck in: diggers on day 1

The Digbys - founders of Sandford?

The origins of Sandford go back to the middle of the 19th century when the Digby family owned the land now occupied by the village. Captain Henry Digby, who owned the Minterne Estate north of Dorchester, bought the land in 1814. He had distinguished himself as captain of one of Nelson's ships at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Admiral Sir Henry Digby

Captain Jolliffe - A Seventeenth Century Mariner

The document below dates from around 1700 and lists the local clay pit owners in the seventeenth century and the amount that Captain Jolliffe charged to transport their clay by sea. This may be the same Captain Jolliffe who was awarded a gold medal by King William lll for bravery in capturing a French privateer off the Purbeck coast.

Captain Jolliffe's dealings with Clay Pit Owners


Sandford's Canal Proposal in 1795

In 1795 a canal was planned to link the Bristol Channel to the English Channel to transport coal southwards and clay northwards. The cost of the canal was estimated at £200,000 but the scheme was abandoned in 1803 due to insufficient funds. Only an 8 mile stretch of the canal was ever built near Frome.

1795 Proposed Canal Route