The Origins of Sefton

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A community archaeology project in Formby will be launching next month in an attempt to find evidence for the origins of the settlement. The project is being organised by Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership with the support of Heritage Lottery Funding. The first phase of excavation will begin on 17th October near land behind St Luke’s, Formby - a Victorian church that is believed to have been built upon a much earlier medieval chapel. It is believed that the excavation could provide evidence for the earliest phases of Formby’s settlement.

The excavation will be overseen by community archaeologists from the award-winning Big Heritage, who have organised a series of similar projects across the region. Big Heritage founder, Dean Paton said “The Formby place name suggests a Viking origin, but physical evidence for settlement is extremely thin on the ground. Excavating near what we believe to be a possible medieval church is the ideal starting point, and we’re excited to be working with the community to find out more about the area.”

The project is the final part of a series of heritage initiatives organised by Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership. Alongside the excavation, local primary schools are set to receive visits from archaeologists who will explore how the coastline has influenced settlement for thousands of years.

John Dempsey, project officer with the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership, said: “The history of the Sefton coast is incredible – from the prehistoric footprints trapped in the sediment beds on the beach to the shipwrecks of the 20th century.

“We’re hoping our latest project will shed light on the fascinating past of the “Viking Village” of Formby”.

Sefton residents are invited to apply for limited places to join the excavation team for a week of work commencing on 17th October. To register your interest, please fill in the contact form below.