Chester Archaeology Service will be digging in Grosvenor Park, Chester, between the 14th May and the 6th July 2007.
Several trenches will be dug on the western side of the park in order to answer a number of questions. The main aim is to locate the remains of a large town-house known as Cholmondeley's Mansion which was demolished when the park was laid out in 1867. It is thought that the house sat on the site of earlier medieval buildings attached to the church of St. John.
Cholmondeley's Mansion with St. John's Church to the rear. John McGahey, 1852
We also want to find out what was there in Roman times. A specific target will be a large ditch which was found during the building of the Union Street swimming baths in 1899, and again more recently in 1994. The more recent work also uncovered a complete adult human skeleton buried in the top of the ditch and we will be studying these remains to discover the date, age and sex of the person over the coming weeks.
As well as tackling these questions, the dig is being used as a training project for archaeology students at Chester University, and will also be open to volunteers.
The work supports both a Conservation Management Plan for the park and an application by Chester City Council under the Heritage Lottery Fund 'Parks for People' programme, due to be submitted in March 2008.