Sunday, May 29, 2011

Archaeologists hope to uncover part of Chester's secret history

An archaeological dig underway in Chester’s Grosvenor Park may find previously unknown buildings associated with a great mansion house that was destroyed in the Civil War in the 17th century.

Experts from Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Historic Environment Team and University of Chester second year Archaeology students may also find part of a Roman road to the nearby amphitheatre.

Simon Ward, Principle Archaeologist for Cheshire West and Chester Council and Director of the dig, said: “It has been great to get back to digging with the students again.

“We are looking forward to a fruitful and exciting season expanding our knowledge of this interesting part of Chester close to the Roman Amphitheatre and Chester’s original cathedral St John’s Church.”

Public Open Day

The dig, near the St John’s Church entrance, will have a public Open Day on 31 May from 10am – 4pm with opportunities to have site tours, handle finds from this year and previous years and there will be activities for children too. The dig will also be open during the weekend of 4 June as part of the Roman Chestival.

Meggen Gondek, Programme Leader for Archaeology at the University of Chester, said: “It really is an amazing experience for our students to learn their excavation skills in one of the most impressive historic cities in Britain.

“As partners, the University and the Historic Environment Team, we are committed to developing our understanding of the archaeology of Chester and we hope there will be lots of public interest generated over the next few weeks.”

Councillor Lynn Riley, Executive Member for Community and Environment:said: “I am sure there will be great interest in this dig taking place in Grosvenor Park – a jewel in Chester’s cityscape.

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