HUNDREDS of people flocked to an archaeological dig site as the foundations of an early medieval building were revealed for the first time.

Residents were invited to view the footprints of the building at the weekend.

The findings were excavated by Burnham’s U3A archaeological group in the garden of Southminster Hall.

It had received more than £11,000 in grants from the Essex Community Foundation to excavate the foundations.

Thanks to the grants they got the job done professionally.

Members have now dug nine trenches and excavated three sides of the building.

Other interesting finds included half a medieval pig.

Group deputy leader Sue Spiers, had hoped the open days would go some way to repaying her group’s effort.

And it was a massive win for the committee.

More than 500 people turned up over the weekend to view the previously unknown discovery.

Sue said: “Our two open days were a great success with 533 visitors over the two days.

“We had lovely weather and a constant stream of visitors from around the Dengie and as far afield as London and Suffolk.

“We gave guided tours around the site every 10 minutes and several of us dressed up in costume to reflect the medieval theme.

“Visitors were fascinated by the sight of our diggers working.

“We had finds coming up while they were there and they could do metal detecting and sieve for finds.

“Our Burnham U3A archaeological group and the Burnham U3A worked solidly both days and the feedback we’ve had has been marvellous.”

At the end of October the group will backfill the site and after Archaeology South East complete the post excavation report, the site will be included in the Historic Environment Record.

Next year the group will have a year-long display of the excavation in Burnham Museum and it hopes to give talks.

Attractions across the district hosted open days for England’s largest heritage festival.

Each September thousands of volunteers across the country invite residents to experience history, architecture and culture for free.