University of Leicester archaeologists to start new excavations at Bradgate Park

Free public event on Sunday 1 July to reveal new discoveries at popular attraction

  • Discoveries made by archaeologists at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire include evidence for Ice Age hunting (c. 14,500 years ago), Mesolithic hunting (c. 6000-9000 years ago), Bronze Age occupation and a 13th-14th century hunting lodge
  • Latest excavations to shed light on changing appearance of Bradgate House and a possible stable block built for the visit of King William III
  • Members of the public are invited to learn about the latest archaeological discoveries being made by the University of Leicester’s Archaeology fieldschool during a free family Open Day at Bradgate Park on Sunday 1 July between 11.00am – 4.00pm

LEICESTER, 23-May-2018 — /EuropaWire/ — Archaeologists from the University of Leicester will be returning to Bradgate Park from the end of May until the beginning of July with their fourth season of excavations.

Aiming to uncover the hidden history of this popular attraction, the Bradgate Park Fieldschoolis a five-year programme of research (2015-2019).

Project co-director, Dr Richard Thomas from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, explained: “Excavations over the last three years have shown that people have been coming to Bradgate Park for a very long time. We now have evidence for Ice Age hunting (c. 14,500 years ago), Mesolithic hunting (c. 6000-9000 years ago), Bronze Age occupation, and a 13th-14th century hunting lodge.

“Our most surprising find, however, has been the discovery of buildings pre-dating the brick structures of Bradgate House. While Bradgate House is such an iconic site, very little is known about the standing structure and its date. Our evidence suggests that the home of Lady Jane Grey, may have looked very different from what we see today.

“Our fourth season of excavations will help us to better understand the changing appearance of Bradgate House. We will also be exploring a large rectangular building to the south of Bradgate House, which is visible in aerial photographs and 18th-century drawings. We think that this could be a stable block, built for the visit of King William III, or a gatehouse.”

The fieldschool includes a programme of outreach delivered to primary, secondary schools enabling them to visit the excavations and take part in hands-on activities.

Outreach Officer, Debbie Miles-Williams from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, said: “The outreach programme is designed to raise awareness of our research and inspire young and old to engage with their local heritage and archaeology.”

Members of the public are invited to learn about the latest archaeological discoveries being made by the University of Leicester’s Archaeology fieldschool at Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, during a free family Open Day on Sunday 1 July between 11.00am – 4.00pm.

Members of the public who attend the Open Day will be given the opportunity to:

  • Speak to the archaeologists involved in the excavations and see some of the objects that have been found
  • Take a site tour
  • Discover treasure in dig boxes
  • Meet a medieval knight and learn about medieval cooking
  • Meet the Victorian lady and her hawk
  • Watch medieval tile making, building techniques, weaving demonstrations
  • See the flint knapper and make coil pots and arrowheads
  • Handle prehistoric tools
  • Watch spinners working

You can follow the progress of the project on Twitter via @DigBradgate and on Facebook at Facebook.com/BradgateParkFieldSchool.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information about the Bradgate Park fieldschool and archaeological discoveries made at the site contact Dr Richard Thomas (rmt12@leicester.ac.uk) and Outreach Officer Debbie Miles-Williams (deb@leicester.ac.uk)

SOURCE: University of Leicester

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