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Digging up the past

Archaeologists from the University of Salford Centre for Applied Archaeology, are leading a community excavation at Lytham Hall this week. The project is primarily looking for more evidence of the Jacobean Hall and the Benedictine Priory and is focussed on lifting flagstones in the Jacobean courtyard to see what lies beneath. The archaeologists are leading a team of 12 volunteers who are braving the inclement weather to take part.

It is hoped that the results of the excavations will be used to shed light on the history and story of Lytham Hall’s development. A recent find of two Roman coins has certainly whetted the appetite among our volunteers take part.

The Centre for Applied Archaeology has extensive experience leading community archaeological projects including one of the largest projects in the country, Dig Greater Manchester.

Rachael Reader, Supervising Archaeologist, said: “We are very excited to be leading this excavation and we hope, despite the weather, to shed light on the evidence for earlier buildings on the site. We want people to learn not only how to excavate but to understand why we are exploring the site and also develop skills in recording and finds processing. We want people to understand that there is more to archaeology than digging and that people of all ages and abilities can participate.”

Lytham Hall Project Manager Simon Thorpe added: “Although we’ve now closed the courtyard to the public there is a viewing area for visitors to see the archaeology work in progress. The excavation lasts for 5 days and finishes on Friday 4th December. In the new year we will be announcing further opportunities to participate in archaeology training days which will focus on recording and photographing historic buildings.”

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