Institute of Archaeology

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ASE community heritage project under starters orders

24 September 2013

ASE community heritage project at the National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket

Archaeology South-East (ASE) are running the Palace House Community Heritage Project at the National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket, Suffolk.

ASE’s Essex team will be leading a series of community archaeological excavations and investigations at Palace House, Newmarket over a number of weekends, half-term holidays and during term time in September through to November 2013.

These investigations will build on the success of Channel 4’s Time Team project in 2011 (programme aired February 2012) which excavated elements of the original stables of Charles II.

The community archaeology programme started on 22 September 2013 to coincide with Newmarket Open Day when the National Horseracing Museum and Palace House Stables were open for visitors.

ASE community heritage project at the National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket

ASE staff, community volunteers and museum staff / volunteers will be looking at four areas of the site: recording a Farriers block, excavating a midden (muck heap!), excavating the Rothschild Yard Fountain (subsequently reused as a flower bed) and the Palace House garden, which, from available records, was in use during the 17th and 18th centuries.

About the NHRM

The National Horseracing Museum (opened in 1983) holds a nationally and internationally significant collection relating to the history and science of racehorses and the people and places connected with the sport and industry of horseracing. Exhibits include the history of horse racing, horse racing in the UK, trophies, paintings of famous horses, trainers and jockeys, jockey uniforms, betting, and horse racing memorabilia. 

The National Horseracing Museum and its partner charities, the British Sporting Art Trust (BSAT) and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), are currently involved in a major redevelopment project which will see them take over the surviving portion of Charles II’s racing palace in the town of Newmarket. This new venue will become the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art. A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting these works.

Further information