Opportunity for locals to take part in archaeological dig in Salford

By Sarah Jackson | 16 September 2013

This autumn, people in Salford will have the opportunity to excavate a local park that contains a historic home designed by Charles Barry, the architect of the Houses of Parliament.

Buile Hill, Salford.
Buile Hill, Salford.© Courtesy of University of Salford
As part of Dig Greater Manchester, the project aims to give communities in Greater Manchester to discover their own history and heritage for themselves through a series of archaeological projects. It is funded by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and managed by the University of Salford.

The site of the excavation is Buile Hill Park, two former estates which each contained a mansion house - one of which is Buile Hill. The Grade II-listed building stands at the centre of the park and was built in the 1820s, designed by Charles Barry at the request of Manchester linen draper Thomas Potter.

The other mansion house, Hart Hill, once stood in the north-west of the park before being demolished in the early 20th century. Although that mansion was only built in 1859, records indicate that an earlier farmhouse was located in the same spot as far back as the 17th century.

As the mansion constructed in 1859 was substantial, it is very likely that its remains will have survived underground, waiting to be rediscovered by the volunteers.

Further excavations to the west of the site are also hoped to uncover more clues about the past use of the park and its mansions.

Brian Grimsditch, the Senior Archaeologist from the Centre for Applied Archaeology at the University, called the site "a great part of Salford’s history" with the potential to "bring fresh insights to light."

Although all volunteer places have been filled, there will be an open day on October 12 when visitiors can see the finds and speak to archaeologists.

  • Find out more about Dig Greater Manchester on their website.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Sarah Jackson on Twitter @SazzyJackson.

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