Archaeology students help reveal the secrets of Chester's Grosvenor Park

13 May 2016

Archaeologists from Cheshire West and Chester Council's Historic Environment Team have picked up their trowels and headed out to Grosvenor Park, with a new group of students from the University of Chester who are taking part in the annual month-long training dig.

Being close to two of Chester’s major historic monuments - the Roman amphitheatre and the medieval church of St. John the Baptist - has had an influence on the development of the park and more importantly on the archaeology that lies beneath.  It is hoped that new information on the remains of both Cholmondeley’s mansion as well as the civilian settlement that lay outside Chester’s Roman fortress will be uncovered. 

Said Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing: “It’s exciting that the archaeologists are uncovering more of the medieval building; hopefully they will prove that it was once part of St. John’s Church precinct before it was incorporated by Lord Cholmondeley into his mansion. They also hope to uncover more of the Roman road leading to the amphitheatre, along with any related buildings. This new evidence will add to the rich tapestry that is Chester’s Story”. An Open Day takes place on June 1 giving the chance to see what the students have excavated and learn about the history of this corner of Grosvenor Park. More details can be found on the student’s Dig Blog at

The training dig is a joint project between the archaeologists from Cheshire West and Chester Council's Historic Environment Team and the University of Chester and is an important part of the student’s archaeology degree course.

Said Dr.Caroline Pudney, Lecturer in Archaeology from the University of Chester: “It's a really valuable opportunity for the students to dig within Chester for their degree and to contribute to our knowledge of the city's past. The wide range of structures and artefacts from the Roman to the post-Medieval periods means that the site provides a unique environment for discovery and helps to inspire our students to further their archaeological experience.”

The training dig is open for viewing until June 3, 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (except between 12.30pm - 1.30pm daily and all day Bank Holiday Monday).

Rachel Alexander, Mary Jane Porter, Bryany Fisher 

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