Institute of Archaeology

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ASE help to uncover Petworth Park's hidden past

12 July 2013

Petworth House and Park in summer

Archaeology South-East (ASE) will join National Trust staff and community volunteers at Petworth House and Park, West Sussex in an exploration of the house's past.

A year-long archaeological survey and dig at National Trust property Petworth House reaches its climax from 13 to 21 July when the team attempts to locate and excavate the ‘lost’ North wing of Petworth House. The survey and excavation which forms part of the Petworth Park Community Archaeology Project is undertaken as part of this year's Festival of Archaeology and marks the first serious archaeological investigation to ever take place in Petworth Park.

As Project Leader, National Trust Archaeologist Tom Dommett indicates:

  • "This is probably the most exciting and ambitious aim of the entire project, and we’re really keen to open it up to our visitors who can watch us quite literally unearth the history of the Park. We want people of all ages to come and see the trenches, handle some of the artefacts and piece together the story of the Park on our archaeological trail".
Trench locations in front of Petworth House

Evidence gathered from historic mapping, paintings and illustrations has identified several sites of interest, and geophysical surveys have confirmed the possibility of substantial remains in front of the house.

Local communities are invited to join in the act of discovery at Petworth and help to unearth (sometimes quite literally!) the story of this remarkable residence. There are opportunities to learn about the process of archaeological investigation and get involved in a range of research and survey to suit all abilities and interests.

Digger’s Big Weekends

Saturday 13 & Sunday 14, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July, 11am – 4pm
Children digging a trench as part of the Petworth House Big Dig project

National Trust archaeologist Tom Dommett ‘Digger’ will lead an excavation and celebration in Petworth Park, and is inviting everyone to join him, to help discover 1,000 years of history. See the trenches and finds, meet medieval costumed interpreters, see traditional cooking demonstrations and follow an archaeological trail across the park. Read more»

Free event!

Archaeology South-East works to develop professional practice, pioneering new approaches to the study of the past while finding ways to involve local communities in their work and in communicating results to both popular and academic audiences. 


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