9000 to 2000 BC
Wareham - The home of Mesolithic man...
A major archeaological dig at Bestwall Quarry in Wareham, (the site is in Bestwall park approximately one mile from the town centre), has revealed evidence of Mesolithic, Neolithic, Iron and Bronze age activity – including the making of flints. Many thousands of finds were made including over 48,000 pieces of worked flint from the early Mesolithic age, and over 12,000 shards of Bronze age pottery.
A middle Bronze age house along with a burnt mound were also uncovered at Bestwall, along with pottery typical of the Dorset bronze age, as well as two Bronze age copper alloy bracelets. In fact the discoveries made at Bestwall uncovered the largest collection of middle Bronze Age pottery in the country and contributed much to the understanding of pre-historic man in Wessex.
After the dig and the gravel extraction the area was created into a wildlife lake and conservation area for the RSPB. The lake can be overlooked from Bestwall park along the marked footpaths.
Let's continue our travel through Wareham's history... !
Useful links / Further reading…
- Download a detailed 29 page report of the Bestwall Quarry Dig, phase 4, 1995.
- Interesting article about the archaeological dig, Bestwall Quarry and development of a nature reserve.
- The museum, located at the Town Hall in East Street, has an interesting display of local archaeology discoveries.