Nov
09

HQ Project Update

In August 2018 the Grosvenor Museum, with funding from Historic England, started a project which aims to bring a large archaeology project archive up to a condition that meets Museum and Historic England ‘accessible archive’ standards. The archive is from the 2007 excavations at the site of the HQ building in Chester and includes over 300 boxes and crates of finds and 10 large boxes of recording documents as well as numerous site drawings, photographs and digital files. These significant excavations uncovered the remains of Roman buildings, a  medieval nunnery and a 16th/17th century house and produced lots of interesting information.

The first part of the project consists of washing, sorting and re-boxing finds. So far a team of volunteers have washed 70 very large boxes of ceramic building material, 30 large boxes of animal bone and all the excavated medieval and post-medieval pottery. Most of the building material is Roman ceramic building material e.g. roof tiles and includes some interesting pieces – tiles with animal prints, legionary stamps, tilers’ signature marks, fragments of hypocaust flue tiles, pieces of Roman chimney and water pipe, however there are also some very nice medieval floor tiles. The animal bone includes both animal and bird bone which would have been mainly a result of food processing but also included small dogs, perhaps pets, as well as horses. The pottery was mainly produced in Chester and the UK but includes pieces that were made in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Low Countries and China.

There will be more opportunities for people to volunteer in the future so please do watch this space. Thank you from the Grosvenor Museum HQ Team!

Oct
05

HQ Archaeological Volunteers (extra finds washing date)

We have an extra finds washing session on Wednesday 10th October. We will be at the Grosvenor Park Activity Zone from 9.30 in the morning and 1.30 in the afternoon (this is in addition to the Tuesday, Thursday afternoon and Friday already listed in our previous posting).  We appreciate this is short notice but if you are free and would like to come along to this, or any of the other sessions then please send an email to: Julie.Edwards@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

We are very grateful to everyone  who has helped so far.

Map and travel information:

https://www.grosvenorparkchester.co.uk/plan-your-visit/entrances/

Plan of Park and location of Activity Zone

https://www.grosvenorparkchester.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1200-parkmap.png

Sep
24

HQ Project update and more volunteer dates

In August the Grosvenor Museum started a new project which aims to bring the HQ archaeology project archive to a condition that meets museum deposition and Historic England’s accessible archive standards.

A team of volunteers washed 42 very large boxes of ceramic building material (c.525 kg), animal bone and pottery. There were some interesting pieces – tiles with animal prints, legionary stamps, tilers’ signature marks, fragments of hypocaust flue tiles, pieces of Roman chimney and water pipe and some very nice medieval floor tiles. The animal bone included both animal and bird bone which would have been mainly a result of food processing but also included small dogs, perhaps pets, as well as horses.

After a short break we are running some more finds washing sessions in September and October and we would very much welcome volunteer help to wash more of the large quantity of Roman and later building materials and animal bone as well as some pottery from excavations at the site of the old Cheshire police headquarters in Chester.

The dates and times we will be in the Pavilion in Grosvenor Park, Chester are:

Thursday 27 September 12.30 – 5 pm

Friday 28 September 9.30 – 3 pm

Tuesday 2 October 9.30 – 1 pm and 1.30 – 5 pm

Thursday 4 October 12.30 – 5pm

Tuesday 9 October 9.30 – 1pm and 1.30 – 5pm

Thursday 11 October 12.30 – 5pm

Friday 12 October 9.30 – 1pm and 1.30 – 5pm

If you would like to come and help please email julie.edwards@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk with the dates and times you are able to attend.

Tea and coffee are provided, we have some rubber gloves but you may wish to bring your own.

The start times are just an indicator of when the building will be open and you are welcome to arrive any time after the stated time.

We are very grateful to everyone  who has helped so far.

Map and travel information:

https://www.grosvenorparkchester.co.uk/plan-your-visit/entrances/

Plan of Park and location of Activity Zone

https://www.grosvenorparkchester.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1200-parkmap.png

 

Sep
21

BBC News: Chirk Castle dig tries to unearth origins of Offa’s Dyke

BBC News reports on a collaboration between to the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust and the National Trust to investigate the origins of Offa’s Dyke.

BBC News

Sep
20

BBC News: Hot weather reveals hidden history to archaeologists

The BBC reports on how the hot summer has been a benefit to archaeologists.

BBC News

Sep
07

Norton Priory Conference. 6 October 2018

Norton Priory third bi-annual conference with the latest research into the site and its collections. For more information and booking details visit the Norton Priory website

Link to Norton Priory website

Jul
16

Free Archaeology Volunteer Taster Session (booking essential)

Are you interested in the archaeology of Chester? Would you like some hands-on archaeology experience but don’t have time to volunteer during the week?

On Saturday 4 August 2018 12 noon – 4pm the Grosvenor Museum will be running a finds washing session in the Grosvenor Park Activity Zone. We will be washing finds from the HQ site in Chester where excavations uncovered the remains of Roman buildings, a medieval nunnery and an early post-medieval house.

No experience necessary there will be trained archaeologists to tell you what to do. Please bring rubber gloves and an apron or wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You must be over 16 to take part.

To book a place and for further information go to: www.ticketsource.co.uk/westcheshiremuseums

 

Jul
16

Volunteering Opportunities August 2018

The Grosvenor Museum is starting a new project on Friday 3 August 2018 which aims to bring a large archaeology project archive up to a condition that meets museum deposition and Historic England’s accessible archive standards.

The first stage of the project consists of a programme of finds processing and we will be based in the Pavilion in the Grosvenor Park Activity Zone where we will be washing, sorting and re-boxing finds from the 2007 excavations at the HQ building in Chester. These significant excavations uncovered the remains of Roman buildings, a  medieval nunnery and a 16th/17th century house and produced a rich and plentiful finds assemblage.

The finds we will be washing will be largely Roman and later building materials e.g. roof tiles, floor tiles and bricks and animal bone and also some pottery.   We will be sorting and boxing these and other finds from the site by material and period and carrying out basic documentation.

We would very much welcome volunteer help in this very interesting but large project and will be running sessions on the following dates (we will be in the Pavilion from 9.30 in the morning and 1.30 in the afternoon):

Friday 3 August  9.30am and 1.30pm

Monday 6 August  9.30am and 1.30pm

Tuesday 7 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

Wednesday  8 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

Thursday 9 August 1.30pm

Friday  10 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

Wednesday 15 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

Thursday 16 August  1.30pm

Friday 17 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

Monday 20 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

Tuesday 21 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

Wednesday 22 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

Thursday 23 August  1.30pm

Friday 24 August 9.30am and 1.30pm

There is a good assemblage of animal bone from the site and we are arranging for a specialist to run a workshop on identifying animal bones during the afternoon of Wednesday 8 August. In order to be eligible to attend the workshop you must first attend the washing session in the morning or a session on one of the preceding days.

If you would like to come and help please email julie.edwards@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk with the dates and times you are able to attend.

Map and travel information:

https://www.grosvenorparkchester.co.uk/plan-your-visit/entrances/

Plan of Park and location of Activity Zone

https://www.grosvenorparkchester.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1200-parkmap.png

 

 

May
25

OPEN AFTERNOON 2018: The Secrets of Grosvenor Park Unlocked

Archaeologists from Cheshire West and Chester Council Cultural Service (Grosvenor Museum) in partnership with the University of Chester, returned to Grosvenor Park, Chester to run their annual training dig for second year students, an essential part of their archaeology degree course.

An OPEN AFTERNOON will be taking place on May 29 between 1:30 – 4:30pm giving you the last chance this year to see what the students have uncovered, study the objects they have found and learn more about the history of this corner of Chester, and it’s FREE!

So far the students have uncovered, amongst other things, a Roman road that led to the east entrance of the amphitheatre and a large building destroyed during the Civil War. The building appears to have been a 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 mansion house.

Lisa Harris, Director of Place Strategy, Cheshire West and Chester Council, said:  “Our previous digs have always attracted a lot of attention. These digs not only provide essential practical experience for students working alongside our archaeologists but have been a talking point for the many visitors to the park. There is always an opportunity to watch the activities and get an update on what’s been discovered. This is part of our commitment to invest in inclusive leisure and culture making west Cheshire a great place to live and visit. Please follow the blog, watch the ongoing dig and make a date in your diary for the open day.”

Dr Caroline Pudney, Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Chester (who recently appeared in the Channel 4 programme, Britain’s Most Historic Towns, praising the Roman history of Chester), said: “We are so lucky to have such a major archaeological site on our doorstep, and for our students to have the opportunity to contribute to our knowledge of the city’s past. Chester’s Roman history has had its public profile raised recently, as it was the focal point of the Channel 4 programme, presented by Professor Alice Roberts. She was so impressed by our amphitheatre that she referred to it as her favourite site (www.channel4.com/info/press/news/interview-with-prof-alice-roberts-for-britains-most-historic-towns)  Additionally, the varied nature of Chester’s post-Roman past provides a wide range of historic remains and therefore a unique environment for discovery that helps to inspire our students to further their archaeological experience.”

The last day of the dig is Wednesday 30 May and it will close at 4:30pm.

Student’s Dig Blog: http://univchester-parkdig.blogspot.co.uk/
CWAC Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheshirewest/albums/72157669003991148

May
18

The Chester Heritage Festival and Chester Archaeological Society Conference

The Chester Archaeological Society Conference will be held at the Grosvenor Museum on the 29th and 30th June 2018. For more information about this event visit the Chester Archaeological Society website.

Chester Heritage Festival will run from 22nd to 30th June. It will feature walks, talks, films, exhibitions, workshops and special activities for young people which bring Chester and its heritage to life.

The festival is being co-ordinated by Chester Civic Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council in close partnership with many other groups such as the Guild of Tour Guides, Roman Tours, St John’s Church, Chester Race Company, the Grosvenor Museum, Storyhouse and local libraries. Over 60 events will take place around the clock, across the city and beyond.

Visit www.visitcheshire.com/chesterheritagefestival or look out for leaflets around the city and in libraries throughout Cheshire West when the festival programme is published in May.

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