Archaeology discovery day to reveal mysteries of Bradgate Park

Posted by ap507 at Jun 27, 2016 10:45 AM |
Free public University of Leicester event to explore new findings at popular attraction on Sunday 3 July

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 27 June 2016

Media/ photo opportunities available: 11-4pm on Sunday 3 July at Bradgate Park. Contact Debbie Miles-Williams at: to confirm

You can watch, download and embed a video of the first season of the fieldschool at Bradgate Park at:

Images from last year’s Open Day and from this year’s fieldschool available to download at:

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 3 July between 11.00am – 4.00pm.

Academics, professional archaeologists and students from the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History are working together to uncover the hidden history of this popular attraction over a five-year programme of research (2015-2019). The Bradgate Park fieldschool project encompasses a series of excavations, topographic and geophysical surveys, environmental reconstructions and standing building surveys, providing a fantastic opportunity for training in archaeological practice for students.

Project co-director, Dr Richard Thomas from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History explained: “Previous excavation of flint artefacts has shown us that Ice Age hunters were operating within the Park almost 15,000 years ago. We also have the ruins of the birthplace and childhood home of Lady Jane Grey which was completed in 1520. But there are huge gaps in our knowledge of the Park in between and we are hoping that this season’s excavations will begin to fill in some of these.”

While the focus of the second season is on uncovering more evidence dating back to the medieval period of the medieval moated site, which contains a stone building that may have been a hunting lodge, the archaeologists hope to find more signs of the Ice Age hunter-gatherers migrating across Europe to benefit from warmer climes – building on the recent excavation of thousands of late Upper Palaeolithic flint artefacts by the University of Leicester Archaeology Services (ULAS) <>

The project will also include a programme of outreach delivered to primary, secondary schools and A-level students 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 explained: “The outreach programme is designed to raise awareness of our research and inspire young and old to engage with their local heritage and archaeology.”

Peter Tyldesley MRICS, Director at Bradgate Park Trust, said: “The Bradgate Park Trust are delighted to be hosting the University of Leicester Fieldschool and the work that the staff and students are doing is greatly adding to our understanding of the way in which this unique site has evolved over the centuries. We have all been encouraged by the high level of public interest in the dig and the open day is an opportunity to involve our visitors in the work of the archaeologists.”

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

·         Hear medieval musicians

·         Meet the medieval 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

·         Find out how to make prehistoric bread and mead

The free family Open Day takes place on Sunday 3 July between 11:00am and 4:00pm for members of the public to learn more about the latest archaeological discoveries in the park and there will also be two end of season excavation tours on Saturday 16 July, 10.00AM - noon and 2.00pm - 4.00pm as part of the Festival of Archaeology.

You can follow the progress of the project on Twitter via @DigBradgate and on Facebook at:

More information about Season Two of the fieldschool at Bradgate Park at:


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Debbie Miles-Williams at:

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