Dig Diary Archive

Read archive reports of our work on the battlefield of Waterloo.

July Dig Diary

July Dig Diary

Read on to find out what Waterloo Uncovered have been up to in July, including our nomination for a Charity Times Award, test pitting in ...
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June Dig Diary Part 2

June Dig Diary Part 2

Catch up on the latest Waterloo Uncovered news including a new comic, a look back at #WaterlooWeek and an update on our Summer School programme ...
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June Dig Diary Part 1

June Dig Diary Part 1

Catch up on the latest Waterloo Uncovered news, including your chance to get involved in creating a large scale diorama of Waterloo; an update on ...
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April Dig Diary

April Dig Diary

Welcome to the April edition of Waterloo Uncovered's Dig Diary! Read on to find out what the WU family have been up to, including an ...
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Close up of Mont Saint Jean Bones

Spring Dig Diary

WU's Spring Update - find out about what we've been up to in 2020... from being published to winning awards, it's all go! ...
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Middle Temple Hall

Winter Dig Diary

This Winter, we've been busy! Catch up with all the Waterloo Uncovered news today ...
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Dig Diary Day 10: 2019 Recap

Dig Diary Day 10: 2019 Recap

A Cornucopia of Cornfield Finds Where have we been? A large cornfield near Mont-Saint-Jean farm. What did we find?  A large amount of musket balls, a 6-inch unexploded howitzer ...
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Dig Diary Day 9: Bombs and Buttons

Dig Diary Day 9: Bombs and Buttons

An Explosive Discovery In a field in the vicinity of Mont-Saint-Jean farm, an earth-shaking find was discovered yesterday afternoon. Serving Coldstream Guardsman Oliver Horncastle, whom ...
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Dig Diary Day 8: Poignant Proof of the Human Cost of Battle

Dig Diary Day 8: Poignant Proof of the Human Cost of Battle

A Possible Amputation Pit? In the orchard of Mont-Saint-Jean, Waterloo Uncovered’s metal detectorists picked up a signal that indicated the presence of a large metal ...
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Dig Diary Day 7: Military Medicine and Well Diving

Dig Diary Day 7: Military Medicine and Well Diving

Military Medicine at Mont-Saint-Jean This morning, retired consultant, curator of the Royal College of Surgeons and curator of the Military Surgical Museum at Ferme de ...
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Dig Diary Day 6: Mass Musket Balls and Scots Guard Buttons

Dig Diary Day 6: Mass Musket Balls and Scots Guard Buttons

It’s the first day of our second week here at Waterloo Uncovered! After a weekend of recovering from their exhausting hard week last week, the ...
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Waterloo Weekend Diary: Weapons, Women and Wet Weather

Waterloo Weekend Diary: Weapons, Women and Wet Weather

#WaterlooWeekend Open Day The working week may be over, but a group of veterans, archaeologists and students donned their hi-vis jackets regardless yesterday morning. Their ...
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Dig Diary Day 5: Bringing History to Life

Dig Diary Day 5: Bringing History to Life

Redcoats Return As the first week of Waterloo Uncovered 2019 draws to a close, the sites of Hougoumont and Mont-Saint-Jean have once more been been ...
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Dig Diary Day 4: Behind the Scenes

Dig Diary Day 4: Behind the Scenes

As the first fantastic week of Waterloo Uncovered 2019 nears its end, we’re taking you behind the scenes of the dig and shining a light ...
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Dig Diary Day 3: Of Reading, Remembering and Ridges

Dig Diary Day 3: Of Reading, Remembering and Ridges

Reading to Remember 2019 When Private John Peter Leonhard first laid eyes on Hougoumont farm, he recounted the utter hopelessness the sight instilled in him; ...
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Dig Diary Day 2: Musket Balls at Mont-Saint-Jean

Dig Diary Day 2: Musket Balls at Mont-Saint-Jean

Evidence of Evacuation? In our freshly dug trenches along the east edge of the Mont-Saint-Jean orchard, an exciting discovery is in progress. The farm of ...
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Dig Diary Day 1: Waterloo Uncovered Rides Again

Dig Diary Day 1: Waterloo Uncovered Rides Again

Battlefield Beginnings On Sunday 7th of July, the Waterloo Uncovered team gathered at the main museum on the Waterloo battlefield, Memorial 1815, to officially kick ...
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The Last Dig Diary of 2018

The Last Dig Diary of 2018

It has been wonderful to be on site and to be part of this amazing community. Who knew that such a diverse group of strangers ...
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Descendants: Julian and Ben Parker

Descendants: Julian and Ben Parker

Julian and Ben Parker, a father and son duo on site have a very tangible link to the battle of Waterloo. Julian, an ex army ...
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Descendants: Battlefield Tour

Descendants: Battlefield Tour

At Waterloo Uncovered, we often get visitors whose ancestors fought in the battle. Last Friday, we were visited by a group who toured the battlefield ...
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Dig Diary 8: New Trenches, Ancient Artefacts

Dig Diary 8: New Trenches, Ancient Artefacts

Day 8 has been an exciting day with two new trenches dug in promising places! At the end of the Dig Diary, we will give ...
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WU People: Sam Wilson

WU People: Sam Wilson

Sam Wilson, explaining the lifecycle of a trench to participants Sam Alexander Wilson (30) is a professional archaeologist from Basingstoke. He’s been part of the Waterloo ...
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Dig Diary 7: Blazing Heat and Mystery Button

Dig Diary 7: Blazing Heat and Mystery Button

We’re getting a much clearer sense of the physical features of the battle landscape. In today’s dig diary we’re going to look at work on ...
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Dig Diary 6: Breaking New Ground

Dig Diary 6: Breaking New Ground

It’s Monday. The week has started again, and we are excited to be back digging. Today, there’s more evidence for how archaeology creates as many ...
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Dig Diary Weekend: The Past Come Back to Life

Dig Diary Weekend: The Past Come Back to Life

Waterloo Uncovered Archaeology Weekend An important part of our work is to tell people about what we do. This year, for the first time, we ...
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WU People: Sebastiaan Loche

WU People: Sebastiaan Loche

Sebastiaan Loche, featured in front of Château d’Hougoumont WU People: Sebastiaan Loche Sebastiaan Loche (43) from Zwolle in the Netherlands, is a veteran serving in ...
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Dig Diary 5: Finding the Foundation and Getting Creative

Dig Diary 5: Finding the Foundation and Getting Creative

It’s Friday Finds Day! Check our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts to see the highlights of this week. We’ve had success at the Garden Wall excavations – ...
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WU People: Hans Droppert

WU People: Hans Droppert

Hans Droppert, hard at work cleaning a musket ball Hans Droppert (63) is a veteran of the Dutch Royal Navy Reserve from Heinkenszand (NL). He ...
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Day 4: An Extraordinary Coincidence and the Renovation Excavation

Day 4: An Extraordinary Coincidence and the Renovation Excavation

We are starting to understand what happened inside the Northern Gate. Unfortunately, sometimes we are getting a better picture of what happened in that place ...
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WU People: Sylvain Robert-Malbete

WU People: Sylvain Robert-Malbete

Sylvain Robert-Malbete, learning about Hougoumont Sylvain Robert-Malbete (23) is a Coldstream Guardsman from London. He is learning more about metal detecting and Napoleonic history while ...
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WU People: Max Marwick

WU People: Max Marwick

Max Marwick with his new trowel Max Marwick (22) is a student of history at Sussex University, Brighton. After the summer, he’ll start the second ...
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Day 3: War Letters and the Lost Pond

Day 3: War Letters and the Lost Pond

Today, we have been working hard to make it back home in time for the match (in case you ask: England are playing Croatia in ...
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WU People: Keanie Trick

WU People: Keanie Trick

Keanie Trick Keanie Trick (23) is an aircraft technician from Devon, UK. This year’s her second time on the dig. Keanie (named after actor Keanu ...
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Day 2: Coins, Buttons and Promises

Day 2: Coins, Buttons and Promises

Whereas we felt so welcomed by the sun two days ago, today was a different story: the skies are grey and the temperature has dropped ...
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Day 1: Breaking New Ground; and How to be an Archaeologist

Day 1: Breaking New Ground; and How to be an Archaeologist

The day starts off with a short debriefing. We are warned of the massive-but-noiseless cows that may suddenly appear and are easily startled. After some ...
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Day 0: It's Great to Be Back!

Day 0: It’s Great to Be Back!

It feels as if the Belgian sun could not wait to see us return, either. On the one hand this is great: we could not ...
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The last morning brief

Day 11 – The Last Day

It was a weird feeling coming on site this morning. The team was ready to get back to work, but at the same time, we ...
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The group gathered for the morning briefing

Day 10 – Touring the trenches

The project is starting to come to a close. After a week and a half of digging and excavation, the teams are now in the ...
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Day 9 – A Coldstream Guard's Button

Day 9 – A Coldstream Guard’s Button

The Weird-Wobbly-Wednesday-Dip has kicked in full force. People were tired, and when we arrived on site it was hot and muggy, which did not help ...
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Looking for shade

Day 8 – Waterloo Uncovered makes the news

Water and sun cream was our main priority today. After a dreary Monday, Tuesday was sunny and hot. While the sun was much appreciated, many ...
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Getting the equipment ready for another day of digging.

Day 7 – Winter is coming

After a well-deserved weekend in which we either explored what Belgium had to offer or the poolside of the hotel, the group was ready to ...
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The group, gathered for briefing.

Day 6 – Today, we fight

With the prospect of a relaxing weekend, everyone was eager to start digging today. The digging continued in all of the trenches, as well as ...
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Morning brief in the sun.

Day 5 – Watermooo Uncovered

Morning brief in the sun. After the rain we had yesterday, today was incredibly sunny. Luckily, the tents provide some shade, but Cornelius’ “don’t forget ...
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Day 4 - Rain and Readings

Day 4 – Rain and Readings

Today’s dig started off rainy and overcast. This, however, did not dampen morale, and everyone was excited to get digging. Tents were set up over ...
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Day 3 - Different perspectives

Day 3 – Different perspectives

Fritz, a Dutch veteran hard at work in the formal gardens. Yesterday on our first day of digging, the first trenches to be opened were ...
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Day 2 - WU Firsts! La Ferme de Mont-Saint-Jean & the new WU Podcast!

Day 2 – WU Firsts! La Ferme de Mont-Saint-Jean & the new WU Podcast!

Phil Harding whipping his team into shape! The Day 1 Dig Diary stated that the 2017 field season is a year of firsts, and not ...
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Day 1 - The Waterloo Tour

Day 1 – The Waterloo Tour

Sunday was the first official day of Waterloo Uncovered 2017! After a long journey for many of our team members (many arriving en masse by ...
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FINAL DAY

FINAL DAY

After two fantastic weeks of digging and discoveries, our excavation has come to an end. The team has been doing some great work and as ...
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killing zone trenches

Day 11 UPDATE – The final trenches

Today the final trenches were opened. They were in the east end of the killing zone and ran from the base of the garden wall ...
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shovelling dirt in the courtyard trench

Day 9 UPDATE – Mysteries and discoveries!

Phil’s team has been working very hard trying to find the original front wall of the building that stood against the north wall of the ...
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Day 8 UPDATE – More info than ever before!

Day 8 UPDATE – More info than ever before!

Stu and his crew have been very busy creating a data base. They collected all the data provided by the survey team and put it ...
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Processed by: Helicon Filter

Day 7 UPDATE – The battle of the Somme

Today, Waterloo Uncovered visited the site of the battle of the Somme and remembered those who fought and died on those fields 100 years ago ...
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Day 6 UPDATE - Achievements so far

Day 6 UPDATE – Achievements so far

We’re now at the half way mark and our teams have done exceptionally well. Everyone’s put in a lot of work and all of the ...
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Day 5 UPDATE - special guests and excellent archeology!

Day 5 UPDATE – special guests and excellent archeology!

Today we had a surprise visit from the Duke of Wellington! He first visited to Hougoumont was with his grandfather 58 years ago, and ever ...
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Phil's team working on trench 45

Day 4 UPDATE – Uncovering trench 45

David Ulke, an ex-RAF nursing officer, is one of the team excavating trench 45 in the courtyard under the supervision of Phil Harding. The survival ...
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Emily's team cleaning the sunken way

Day 3 UPDATE – Reading to remember

We’re on day 3 of our two week dig and things are going great! Everybody’s working hard on the unravelling of the battle and our ...
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morning briefing in the garden of Hougoumont

Day 2 UPDATE – BRICK WALLS AND MUSKET BALLS

“Yesterday, I felt a bit like Napoleon,” said Tony Pollard with a smile. The reason was because the battle in 1815 didn’t start off until ...
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Our team of supervisors

Day 1 UPDATE – Back at it again!

So here we are! The Waterloo Uncovered team of 2016 has found its way back to Belgium. We’ve got people from all over the place, ...
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the 2015 team

Final Day

Just a (very) short post today. More results to follow next week as we process our finds, thoughts and theories. After a log day backfilling trenches, we’re ...
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Piece of grape shot

Day 10 update – The great debate

We’re moving towards the end of our second week at Hougoumont Farm and the time just seems to fly by. Before we know it, it ...
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the mystery object

Day 9 update- A few finds

The finds coming out of Hougoumont Farm tell many different stories, some of battles, some of home life and some of modern life. It makes ...
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Phil Harding, President of Defence Archaeology Group

Day 8 update – Digging in the rain, just digging in the rain

Phil Harding, President of Defence Archaeology Group There are positives to digging in the rain… no really there are! Firstly, the rain changes the look ...
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Eva and Tony with the battle era bottle

Day 5 update – a recap on last week

We’re back for another week of excavating after a much needed rest over the weekend but before we launch into new discoveries and points for ...
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Matthew Clay

Day 4 update – Have we found Clay’s ammunition?

Day 4 of our two week dig and we’ve turned our attention to an area that is referred to as the sunken way, a ditch ...
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A Belgium Blue cow

Day 3 update – Bottles, Brick pathways and a Belgium Blue

Things are really taking shape here at Hougoumont as we reach day 3 although sharing a field full of Belgium Blues certainly creates a few ...
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French musket ball with brick dust

Day 2 update – Ready, aim, fire!

French musket ball with brick dust Whilst we continue to explore our trenches in the walled garden a lot of our attention has been on ...
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Metal detector explores the Great Orchard

Day 1 update – We’re back and the finds are ‘firing’ in!

The countdown is over, we’re finally here at Hougoumont Farm and it feels so good to back. What was instantly noticeable since our visit in ...
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