Community Archaeology on a Social Housing Estate in the Early 21st Century: Middlefield Lane, Gainsborough (UK)

Author(s): Carenza R Lewis

Year: 2018

Summary

Middlefield Lane, in the former Midlands industrial town of Gainsborough (UK), was one of many new post-war British social housing estates built to replace crowded, insanitary 19th century slums with better quality housing and open space, and modelled on the 1928 ‘garden city’ plan of Radburn, New Jersey. Radburn is a national monument but elsewhere, time and policy-makers have left such estates deprived and unprepossessing places with high levels of social deprivation. Social critics have condemned the original planners as unrealistic utopian idealists.

In 2016 scores of current residents participated in archaeological excavations within Middlefield. This paper will assess the excavation outcomes, focussing firstly on the unusually high number of child-related finds which indicated that the open spaces were indeed used, as intended, by children for outdoor play; and secondly on feedback which showed the positive impact participation had on residents’ skills and attitudes to ‘their’ place and its heritage.

Cite this Record

Community Archaeology on a Social Housing Estate in the Early 21st Century: Middlefield Lane, Gainsborough (UK). Carenza R Lewis. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441667)

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Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 931