The Diggers Project


The 17th century Diggers started a protest movement local to modern-day Elmbridge, but their ideas have attained national and international significance.

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About the Project

In October 2019, Elmbridge Museum was approached by the Citizens Project team at Royal Holloway, University of London. From 2017, the team there had been working with local schools and museums to develop a variety of resources which explored themes of protest and liberty.

Supported by the Heritage Fund, our aim was to redevelop the outdated Surrey Diggers Trail, producing in its place an accessible and engaging trail tracking the story of the Diggers across what is now the borough of Elmbridge. We did this by researching and filming a series of five fascinating videos, so that all learners can follow and enhance their understanding of this important part of our national history.

Since launching the video series, the project’s legacy has continued. Using her specialist research and expertise of the Digger Movement, our Academic in Residence Lívia Bernardes Roberge has produced a series of blogs and a new suite of children’s worksheets which explore important aspects of the story in more detail.

Scroll down to explore the project.

Who were the Diggers?

In the wake of the English Civil War, a number of radical groups emerged onto the political landscape.

In this introductory video, Professor Justin Champion introduces the three most prominent of these radical groups – the Diggers, Levellers, and Ranters – and outlines their key ideologies.

View more videos on Royal Holloway's History Hub YouTube channel

Explore the Diggers Project

The Diggers Learning Resources Explore this fantastic selection of learning resources, suitable for Year 7 and above.

go to The Diggers Learning Resources
The Surrey Diggers Trail Follow the story of the Diggers across the local area with the help of our trail boards and video series.

go to The Surrey Diggers Trail
The Diggers Blogs Delve into the latest research on the Diggers in our Academic in Residence's monthly blogs.

go to The Diggers Blogs
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