Can you dig it? Join cam­paign to un­cover long-lost Tu­dor gar­den

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By ZASHA WHITEWAY-WILKIN­SON

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

Pic­ture: Eloisa Wild­smith

A lost Tu­dor gar­den is in the grounds of Sude­ley Cas­tle

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