About the Project

The Culver Archaeological Project (CAP) involves the local community, students, trained archaeologists and volunteers in the investigation of the historic environment under the supervision of the project director, Robert Wallace, a Masters Graduate in Field Archaeology from the University of Sussex, and corporate member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA). CAP was founded in 2005 by Rob to investigate the historic landscape surrounding the Barcombe villa complex and has developed over the years to research the historical environment of the alluvial plain of the Upper Ouse Valley in the parishes of Barcombe and Ringmer.

In the initial year Rob discovered a substantial Roman road running down the western side of the River Ouse and work continued in the area of this road on Culver and Cowlease Farms until 2010. From its inception CAP has endeavoured to conform to a high standard of archaeological research whilst seeking to actively involve the local community in the discovery and interpretation of their local landscape heritage and archaeological remains. As well as open area archaeological excavation of targeted areas, the project includes magnetometer and resistivity surveys of the wider area as well as supervised metal detecting.

The investigation of the Romano-British settlement at Bridge Farm forms part of this wider research project of the Ouse Valley. In 2011, a geophysical survey of the London to Lewes Roman road by David Staveley, an experienced geophysicist, led to the discovery of the Roman-period settlement at Bridge Farm. This in turn initiated gaining a substantial grant from the National Lottery via the Heritage Lottery Fund, thus enabling the appointment of commercial contractor AOC Archaeology to assist in excavating four open-area trenches and also funding the post excavation works alongside an extensive programme of community engagement for the 2013 season.

From 2014, volunteers, students and campers have paid a modest fee for involvement, with donations received from visiting groups helping to fund the basic costs. From 2015 a fieldwork training course at the site, primarily run for Canterbury Christ Church University students, with some places available for individuals willing to pay for extra training, has provided a sound financial base for both future excavation and specialist post-excavation works. The large volunteer base created in 2013 is still very active and provides an excellent backbone to the project with the support of the yearly cohort of novice students.

PDF of a summary slideshow for 2011-2019

Where are we?

Bridge Farm, Barcombe Mills, Lewes, BN8 5BX

meet the team
Rob Wallace - BA Hons, MA, PCIfA - Project Director

Rob founded the Culver Archaeological Project in 2005 whilst supervising at the excavations of the Roman villa at Barcombe for UCL. He gained a Masters in Field Archaeology at Sussex in 2008 where he became an Associate Tutor until 2012. He had previously studied for his honours degree in Egyptian Archaeology at UCL. Since 2005 he has directed annual excavations to investigate the wider historic landscape of the Sussex Ouse valley; discovering a Roman road and roadside activity at Barcombe followed by the settlement at Bridge Farm in 2011. In 2015 he set up an under-graduate level training course which is run at the site every year.

David Millum, BA Hons, MA, MCIfA - Research Archaeologist

David graduated with a Masters in Field Archaeology from the University of Sussex in 2011 where he was an Associate Tutor until 2012. He was site supervisor on Rob's project on the Roman road at Culver Farm, Barcombe from 2007-10 and at Sussex's excavation of the Roman bathhouse at Barcombe from 2010-12. He has been CAP's Deputy Site Director from 2011 when the focus moved to the defended Romano-British settlement at Bridge Farm. He stepped down as Site Director in 2020 to concentrate on the recording and reporting aspects of the project writing project designs, post-excavation reports, articles for specialist periodicals and formal papers for Archaeological Journals. He also compiled the project's site manual, 'To CAP it all' and is a frequent speaker to local societies and at conferences. Away from CAP and the Roman-period, he wrote a chapter on the medieval period for 'Archaeology of the Ouse Valley, Sussex' published in 2016 by Archaeopress and a retrospective report on Con Ainsworth's 1979-83 excavations of the medieval pottery kilns at Streat, East Sussex.  

Lindsay Banfield, BA Hons, MA - Senior Site Supervisor
Lindsay profile_edited.jpg

Lindsay joined the project in 2016 as a volunteer when she was studying archaeology at University College London and has been employed as site supervisor for the following excavation seasons since.  She has also acted as site supervisor and trained undergraduate students on the UCL training excavation for two successive years and worked on numerous other excavations, such as an investigation into the Stonehenge bluestone quarry sites in Wales.  She is currently a PhD student at the University of Reading where she also completed her Masters qualification.  Her current research involves exploring Romano-British identity through material culture, specifically looking at imported lava querns and millstones in Britain originating from the Eifel region of Germany.