Excavation reveals 400-year-old building at mansion grounds
- Credit: Lily Newton-Browne
Archaeological digs this month have unearthed items dating back 400 years at Ashton Court.
Archaeologists at Archeoscan, school pupils and some volunteers worked to excavate a site at the mansion in Long Ashton, and results from the dig have now been revealed.
The project was prompted by parch marks discovered outside the country house last year, which led to the discovery of buildings under the mansion's front lawn.
Archeologists believed they found a demolished wing of Ashton Court known as The Stables and an unknown structure with a cellar.
The dig took place from June 24 until Thursday, and a conclusion has been reached about the possible structure's origin.
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Lead archaeologist at Archeoscan Tony Roberts said: "We believed The Stables may have been hidden away at Ashton Court.
"However, when we finished the dig it's been observed the structure cannot be that wing as it's too far west of the site, if drawings of the old buildings are to be believed."
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Talks of a Roman structure in the grounds have been dismissed and replaced with the discovery of a 15th-18th century cellar, subject to a post-excavation analysis.
Tony added: "It probably is a different building to The Stables and we now need to hold another archaeological dig at Ashton Court to determine exactly what is there."
The excavation formed part of Historic England's Heritage School's programme which got 380 children, including those from Worle Village Primary School, involved in the three-week task.
Tony hopes to run the project as a community dig in 2020.
This year's version helped to raise funds for the Archeoscan's excavation project.
More than 40 children from the Worle school got stuck in and helped dig up the site on July 8, where they found ancient bones, pottery, teeth and jewellery.
Pupils also got involved in creating design ideas for Ashton Court's future use to celebrate the estate's 60th year of ownership by Bristol City Council.
Finalised results from Archeoscan's archaeological dig will be released in the coming months.
For more information, visit www.archeoscan.com