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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars PressClub · Article.

ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS WELCOMES YOUNG ARCHAEOLOGISTS

More than 20,000 artefacts unearthed in a detailed archaeological survey carried out on the site of the proposed extension to the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. Children from Years 3, 4 and 5 at The March CE Primary School, which adjoins the Home of Rolls‑Royce, were invited onto the site to see the work at first hand.

 

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Andrew Ball
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

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  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars undertakes detailed archaeological survey on the site of its proposed extension
  • Conducted by experts from Oxford Archaeology, one of Europe’s largest and longest-established independent archaeology and heritage practices
  • Children from Years 3, 4 and 5 at neighbouring March CE Primary School invited to become ‘junior archaeologists’ for a day
  • Artefacts found during the survey will be shared with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ neighbours later this year

 
"As Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrates 120 years of the marque in 2024, we look back to the distant past, of the place we call home, and reflect on how we are a small part of the long history of Westhampnett. This archaeological survey, conducted as part of the due diligence for our recent planning application, is providing new insights into the fascinating story of the area surrounding us. It was a particular pleasure to welcome children from The March CE Primary School; as well as discovering more about the hidden world around them, they were greatly inspired by the Oxford Archaeology team’s amazing work, with a number telling us they’re now considering it as a future career! We look forward to sharing these artefacts with our neighbours later this year."
Andrew Ball, Head of Corporate Relations and Heritage, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Roman roof tiles, traces of human fingerprints, animal paw prints, pigs’ teeth and pottery shards (or ‘potsherds’) over 2,000 years old are among more than 20,000 artefacts unearthed in a detailed archaeological survey carried out on the site of the proposed extension to the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is keenly aware of the richness and importance of the local area’s history. The survey, which began in November 2023, was conducted by experts from Oxford Archaeology, one of Europe’s largest and longest-established independent archaeology and heritage practices. As a charitable organisation, it also provides educational activities as part of its services. Children from Years 3, 4 and 5 at The March CE Primary School, which adjoins the Home of Rolls‑Royce, were invited onto the site to see the work at first hand. The team explained what archaeology is, its significance and methodologies, and the role archaeologists play in uncovering and interpreting the past.

Working in small groups, the children were tasked to think like archaeologists, piecing together potsherds, some dating back to 200 BC, and examining a range of other discoveries. Out on-site, the archaeologists showed them evidence of earlier settlements in what is now Westhampnett, including roads and houses. This helps the children connect with their home area’s long history – inspiring future career aspirations in some cases.

The artefacts are currently undergoing further study and cataloguing, to develop a more detailed picture of life in the area over the past two millennia. One early hypothesis is that the site was once used for metal-working activities. If confirmed, this would mean Rolls-Royce is actually continuing a long but often overlooked industrial tradition in this part of southern England.

Throughout the process of preparing its planning application, Rolls-Royce has been committed to transparency and positive engagement with the local community. In this spirit, the artefacts will be placed on display in a local venue later this year, allowing residents to gain new and fascinating insights into the place they and Rolls-Royce call home.

West Sussex has been inhabited since the early Old Stone Age, or Lower Palaeolithic period, around 500,000 years ago. Nearby Chichester was founded by the Romans, and Fishbourne Roman Palace, to the west of the city, is the largest Roman residence north of the Alps. Chichester was rebuilt and fortified by King Alfred the Great in the 9th Century: its magnificent Cathedral dates from Norman times. The Home of Rolls-Royce itself stands on a corner of the Goodwood Estate, family seat of the Dukes of Richmond for over 300 years.

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