Can you dig it? Join campaign to uncover long-lost Tudor garden
HISTORY lovers are being invited to help archaeologists unearth a long-lost Tudor garden and banqueting house at Sudeley Castle.
A two-week excavation is set to take place in the grounds of the Cotswold castle in May, to further explore a site which experts believe could reveal one of England’s last surviving Tudor gardens - hidden in the castle grounds for nearly 300 years.
Initial findings at the site in October included fragments of post-medieval pottery, masonry and animal bones, consistent with garden archaeology.
Members of the public are now being invited to join a team of archaeologists from social enterprise company, Dig ventures, for the excavation in May, and help uncover more of the site’s secrets.
Sudeley Castle’s general manager Wendy Walton said: “Finding an intact Tudor garden is an astonishingly rare occurrence.
“Bringing it back to the surface would be an amazing achievement and gives us the chance to find out what it would have been like in the days when Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I and Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’S last wife, walked its path- ways.”
Lisa Westcott Wilkins from Digventures, added: “This buried garden is believed to be one of England’s last surviving Tudor gardens.
“We think it is one of perhaps only two in the whole country where the original paths are still in place.”
The Digventures team has launched a crowdfunding campaign, inviting Tudor history lovers around the world to help fund the investigation.
The effort is being supported by historian and author Philippa Gregroy, who will be visiting Sudeley Castle in May to give a talk to its crowd-funders, which can also be watched online.
Philippa said: “There’s a tremendous amount of history in the ground there, which no one has seen since it was buried.
“I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait to see what gets found.
“Wherever you are in the world, you can support this wonderful project by crowdfunding the dig.
“Thanks to Digventures, even those who can’t attend in person will be able to watch live events from the dig online, including my talk.”
Crowdfunders will be able to choose whether they want to watch the discoveries online through a series of live broadcasts, or get hands-on and spend a day digging with archaeologists, learning how to excavate, interpret finds and make Tudor discoveries of their own.
Wendy explains: “We are delighted to be able to invite Tudor history enthusiasts and budding archaeologists to join us for the next phase of this exciting chapter in Sudeley Castle’s history.
“I’m sure there is a great deal more we will learn about this fascinating historic site.”
For more about the dig visit http:// digventures.com/projects/sudeleycastle and for more on the castle visit sudeleycastle.co.uk zasha.whitewaywilkin[email protected]plc.com
A lost Tudor garden is in the grounds of Sudeley Castle