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Delapré Digs for wellbeing: new project launched with leading archaeological unit

Delapré Digs: Archaeology for Wellbeing, being piloted at Delapré Abbey in Northampton this October and November, is being led by MOLA’s archaeologists and specialists in partnership with Northampton General Practice Alliance (GPA).

The project offers an opportunity for those experiencing low to moderate mental health needs, disability, long-term chronic conditions and loneliness to come together and take part in a range of archaeological activities, including excavation, finds processing, research and recording, as well as creative activities such as illustration and pottery making.

Katrina Gargett, Community Partnerships Manager at MOLA said: “As archaeologists, we know the positive impacts that taking part in archaeology can have on our mood, whether from the thrill of finding an object that’s been hidden for centuries, sharing a joke with your colleagues in the trenches or simply being outdoors.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing these benefits to people in Northampton, empowering individuals to feel more confident, form new social connections, and be inspired by the place they live.”

Eleanor Sier, Head of Engagement and Interpretation of Delapré Abbey, commented: “This is such an exciting wellbeing project and is all about creating positive wellbeing impacts for local residents, many of whom may have experienced poor mental health and loneliness.”

Claire Finn, MOLA Northampton’s Head of Research and Engagement added: “This is an exciting chance for us to reach more people in new ways. Developing these inclusive and accessible activities for local communities is an important part of our work. For our staff, it also means being able to share their passions with those who usually don’t get a chance to take part in archaeology.

Delapré Digs is a six week programme, with participant coming together one day a week to learn about archaeology, discover the history of Delapré Abbey, get creative and hopefully make new friends – all fuelled by tea and cake of course!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the project, you can get in touch with the MOLA team at

Delapré Digs: Archaeology for Wellbeing is a social prescribing project and is being delivered in partnership with Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and Northampton General Practice Alliance (GPA). It has been made possible with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and MOLA.

About MOLA:
MOLA is an experienced and innovative archaeological and built heritage practice, Independent Research Organisation, and charity. With more than 430 staff in London, Bristol, Northampton, Chester and Basingstoke, MOLA has been providing independent, professional heritage advice and services for 50 years. Find out more at, on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.