2nd july



Return to Waterloo | Day 0

We're headed back to Waterloo for a new season of excavation! Find out where we're going and what we'll be up to below...

explorations at hougoumont

This year, we'll be digging at an exciting new location near the South Woods of Hougoumont farm. From documentary evidence, we know that a small chapel once stood here, that would have likely been visible to and perhaps even used by soldiers on their way to defend or attack the farm - many of whom would never return. We'll be keeping an eye out for any evidence of the chapel that would help us answer questions about its location, use and size. Was this a small roadside shrine, or a larger building like the chapel within the grounds of Hougoumont farm? Was it destroyed as a consequence of the near by fighting, or did it survive to see the aftermath of the Battle?

Elsewhere, we will be investigating the site of a former brick quarry, where the very bricks used to construct the farm were likely excavated. Several years ago, we excavated a series of brick kilns within the grounds of Hougoumont farm, so discovering the quarry will fill in another piece of the puzzle and will put us one step closer to understanding the construction and use of Hougoumont, which has stood for centuries before and after the 12-hour Battle of Waterloo.

The quarry is particularly interesting as we know through historical accounts that it was an open pit before the Battle and was filled in shortly afterwards. Through conversations with our veteran participants on the difficult task of body and debris disposal during and after a battle, we have theorised that an existing, large hole would have been an attractive location in which to clear the waste that would have littered the battlefield after the fighting had drawn to a close. We will explore this theory this summer with a series of test pits dug across the known quarry area.

Images of geophysical anomalies on the battlefield
Geophysical anomalies detected near Hougoumont farm, which will be investigated this summer.

virtual tours

You can join us on excavation this year from the comfort of your home by signing up for our Virtual Tour!

On the 6th July at 12pm UK time, we'll be hosting a Zoom tour of our excavation at Hougoumont. Find out more and get tickets here:

Ukrainians join the team

Over the years, we've helped veterans, serving personnel and military family members from the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the USA to find peace from war. This year, for the first time, we will be adding Ukrainian veterans and family members to the team! 

“Since our inception, we’ve supported those who have served their country when they need us the most, no matter where they are from, and this summer we are delighted to welcome Ukrainians to our international team,” says CEO and Coldstream Guards veteran Mark Evans, “The invasion of Ukraine has left tens of thousands of veterans and serving personnel suffering from the physical and mental injuries of war. In order to support them, we need to start considering what comes after the fighting, even while the conflict is still ongoing. In addition to vehicles and weapons, the UK needs to share the valuable lessons we have learnt about veteran recovery from recent wars in the Middle East with our friends in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian soldiers

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