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2.3 Industrious Rivers

Exploring the history of trade and development along the rivers of the Brecks by documenting the structures

Delivery Lead Organisation: The Breckland Society

Project Update

Industrious Rivers Launch

Photo credit: Frank Meeres

We are pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Industrious Rivers’ project delivered by the Breckland Society.

The Industrious Rivers project will explore the history of trade and development along the waterways of the Brecks. There will be opportunities for volunteers to learn more about the history of the area, and to acquire new skills and insights into a lesser known aspect of local heritage. Training sessions will help volunteers to understand the characteristics and significance of the Breckland rivers and to carry out their own research.

If you would like to get involved, please come along to our free launch event at Brandon Country Park on 17th October. Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided, and there is absolutely no obligation to get involved as a volunteer.


  • 10.30 – doors open
  • 11.00 – Introduction and talk on the history of rivers landscapes in the Brecks from Professor Tom Williamson of UEA, a world renowned expert on landscape history and archaeology.
  • 11.30 – Illustrated overview of the project and how attendees could get involved. Presented by Eliott Wragg, a leading archaeologist who has spent years working on the Thames Discovery Programme.
  • 12.30 app. – Light lunch and refreshments
  • 1.15 app. – Eliott will lead a walk along the nearby Little Ouse river, looking for archaeological clues. The day should finish at about 3pm.

No special skills or knowledge are needed – just an interest in the history and heritage of your area, and a desire to discover why rivers were once so important in the Brecks.


To book a place click here: ‘Industrious Rivers’ Launch Tickets, Mon 17 Oct 2022 at 10:30 | Eventbrite


If you are unable to attend the launch, but are still interested in getting involved, please click here to email Helen Leith, our Project Manager.


To explore the history of trade and development along the rivers of the Brecks by documenting the structures (mills, races, staunches, jetties, warehouses etc) and researching and interpreting the commercial activities that helped shape the economic and industrial profile of the area

Raise awareness of this history and explain why it is important through practical recording, conservation work, new interpretation, written and on-line material

Improve practical knowledge and specific skills that will help ensure better understanding and management of surviving heritage structures in future

Create more of a sense of place, and better awareness of the importance of the industrial archaeology and heritage of the Brecks rivers.


This project will focus on the history of trade and other activities along the rivers of the Brecks, from Roman times to the present day, researching and documenting the development of related activities and infrastructure and ground-truthing the extent and condition of existing industrial archaeology.

Outputs will be celebrated through a variety of media, including a report, digital mapping, and exhibition material to raise awareness and celebrate the vital role of rivers in the Brecks.

If you’d like to get involved in this project contact us for more information or to be added to the project mailing list:


Coming Soon