Archaeologists from Cheshire West and Chester Council and the University of Chester start their annual training dig in Grosvenor Park for the University's 2nd year archaeology students on Thursday 2 May.
Grosvenor Park has been chosen because it sits next to two significant historical monuments, the Roman amphitheatre and the medieval Church of St John the Baptist. Both of these have had an influence on the development of the Park and more importantly on the intriguing archaeology that lies beneath.
During previous years students have discovered: a Roman road leading across the Park to the amphitheatre, a large building destroyed during the English Civil War and two very wide ditches running north-south across the Park. The building seems to have been associated with St. John's, probably part of the medieval hospital and chapel of St. Anne which was acquired by Sir Hugh Cholmondeley in the late 16th century and developed as part of his grand home in the city.
This year the students want to discover more about the large building and to find more evidence for the civilian settlement that grew up around the Romans fortress. They want to find out more about the role of the ditches; did they mark the boundaries of areas of the city? They also hope to uncover evidence for the elusive Saxon Chester.
The training dig is open for public viewing from May 2 until May 31, 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays and between 12.30pm – 1.30pm).
The site will also be open to view on Sunday 2 June during Deva Triathlon.
An Open Afternoon will be taking place 1pm to 4.30pm on May 29 giving the chance to see first-hand what the students have found and to learn more about the archaeology of this corner of Chester.
The training dig is a partnership project between the archaeologists from Cheshire West and Chester Council's Cultural Service (Grosvenor Museum) and the University of Chester and is an essential part of the students' archaeology degree course.
Further information and updates will be available on the students' Dig Blog during the excavation CLICK HERE