Archaeology discovery day to reveal mysteries of Bradgate Park

Posted by er134 at Jun 21, 2017 09:20 AM |
FREE public University of Leicester event to explore new findings at popular attraction on Sunday 2 July

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 June 2017

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

Images from Season One 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 in Leicestershire, during a FREE family Open Day on Sunday 2 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 as part of a five year programme of research (2015-2019). The Bradgate Park Fieldschool project will encompass 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 discovered 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. Our excavations over the last two years have produced evidence of a medieval hunting lodge and this season’s excavations are continuing to fill in some important gaps in our knowledge. Our most surprising discovery so far is a possible in situ Mesolithic flint scatter, uncovered below the floor surfaces of what is presumed to be a brewery.”

The main focus of the third season is Bradgate House. While it is such an iconic site, very little is known about the standing structure and how it relates to the different phases of occupation. The date and function of many of the rooms of the House are unknown. There is also the problem of unpicking original structures from 1920s consolidation and recreation. We will also be investigating a possible prehistoric enclosure located south of the River Lin.

The project will also include 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 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”.

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

The free family Open Day takes place on Sunday between 11:00am and 4:00pm for members of the public to learn more about their discoveries at the park..

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

More information about previous seasons of the fieldschool at Bradgate Park can be found at:



Notes to editors:

For more information, contact Dr Richard Thomas at: or Debbie Miles-Williams at:

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