Trust History

On a chilly November morning day in 1982, Francis Pryor was walking a dyke to the east of Fengate, Peterborough, when he stumbled across a piece of oak lying in the mud. Sliding down the side of the dyke to the waters edge, he found more oak wood including what looked like a vertical post that had been clearly worked with a small bladed axe. Subsequent archaeological investigation by Francis, Charly French, Maisie Taylor, David Gurney and David Crowther revealed large planks of split oak – one with a mortice hole through which a peg had been driven. Further excavations revealed this find to be part of a timber platform the size of Wembley Stadium. This late Bronze Age, monumental structure is over 3300 years old. The site is better known now as Flag Fen, and is one of the best-preserved Late Bronze Age sites yet found in Britain.

Fenland Archaeological Trust was set up in 1986 to manage the site and to keep it open to the public. Its charitable objectives were ‘to advance the education of the public in archaeology and to acquire and promote knowledge of the past; of the wash and fenlands and elsewhere.’

In 2011, the ownership and operations at Flag Fen were transferred to Vivacity, a charitable trust set up to manage the public cultural and leisure facilities in Peterborough.

Subsequent to this, the former Trustees of Fenland Archaeological Trust, including Francis and Maisie, have established the Francis and Maisie Pryor Charitable Trust to advance the knowledge and education of the public in the subjects of Archaeology and the Environment.