Prehistoric flint and medieval pottery were found in a historic village park in Leicestershire


Prehistoric flint and medieval pottery are among the finds so far made during a community excavation in the historic park of a village in Leicestershire.

More than 100 volunteers, led by archaeologists from the University of Leicester, are busy discovering what lies buried under Bouskell Park in Blaby.

They are now two days into a project (July 1) investigating the hidden secrets of the park, which lies off Welford Road on the outskirts of the modern village.

READ MORE:First Look Inside The Newly Renovated Blaby Ice House – The 180 Year Old Fridge Freezer

The park is home to a Victorian Ice House and is said to be the site of a former medieval settlement.

The Buried Bouskell project began in September last year, when work to transform the historic building into a local tourist attraction began.

Excavations began on Tuesday (June 29), following the completion of the renovation of the Ice House last month, and will continue until Sunday (July 4).

A spokesperson for the Blaby District Council, which owns and manages the park, said the team had dug a series of 1m x 1m x 1m test pits, with soil taken from just 10 cm at a time.

He said: “A reduced number of 120 volunteers over the six days are participating in the searches to ensure that social distancing measures are respected.

“Distributed across the park, the test pits will be signed and sealed during the week to minimize any risk to users of Bouskell Park.”

Bouskell Park, Blaby, community excavation

He added: “Research on the park as part of the Buried Bouskell project revealed that medieval pottery was found while laying trails in the park in 1997.

“There is also evidence of medieval agriculture.”

Early finds at the site included prehistoric “worked” flint and pottery dating from the 12th century.

One of the surveys also revealed a stone paved floor and walls.

Several pits have been dug around the park

Councilor Sharon Coe, cabinet member responsible for community engagement, said: “We were eager to begin this next step of our project after the extensive work on the ice house and it’s fantastic to finally start the work.

“Due to the recent announcement of the restrictions, we had to pick our volunteers out of a hat because we were so interested in participating.

“Their efforts will be so important as we seek to uncover the secrets of Bouskell Park.”

Archaeological excavations in the Bouskell park in Blaby.
Archaeologist Mathew Morris shows some of the finds from a pit.

Mathew Morris, Project Manager for Archaeological Services at the University of Leicester, said: “Bouskell Park is a fascinating landscape, a well-preserved Victorian playground covering a much older and more mysterious landscape which is evident in the many earthworks throughout the park.

“Is this a missing part of medieval Blaby?” This is what we hope to find out. ”

He added, “This project has been in the works for years and has been delayed a lot over the past year, so it’s fantastic to finally be able to get started and I can’t wait to see what more our volunteers find.

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Funding for the project comes from a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which provided £ 156,000 of the £ 171,000 work to restore the Ice House and carry out the community excavation.

The rest was paid for by the local authority.

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