Archaeology has long been an important feature in the history of Epsom and Ewell. Not only was EEHAS founded following the excavations of Henry VIII's Palace of Nonesuch in 1960, but the excavation of ritual chalk shafts in the 1840's by Hugh Diamond was the first of many such excavations in the Borough, providing insight to human habitation since the Mesolithic period. Nationally known archaeologists such as AWG Lowther and Shepherd Frere excavated sites locally in the 20th century, and this tradition has continued with both individuals and EEHAS working to protect known archaeological sites, to record sites disturbed during building work, to ensure chance finds are recorded and to publish these archaeological findings. Paper-based research, geophysics and fieldwalking are also tools we use to identify sites.
EEHAS carries out archaeological watching briefs in conjunction with the Surrey County Council Archaeological Planning Officers and ensures the information is uploaded to the Historic Environment Record. We liaise and work with Surrey Archaeological Society in archaeological projects, such as the 2012-4 Church Meadow Excavations in Ewell.
Where archaeological investigations are carried out locally by commercial units we make every attempt to work with them, offering local knowledge, and disseminating their findings via the website, or by inviting them to speak at our meetings.
We are fortunate to have a local museum at Bourne Hall and the Society works closely with the curators to promote both archaeology and local history.
Satellite image of excavations by Pre-Construct Archaeogy at NESCOT 2015