The Great British Dig at Beningbrough

Four people standing on a drive with a hall behind

Watch online to see The Vanished Buildings of Beningbrough on The Great British Dig.

Beautiful Beningbrough on TV

During a sunny week of summer 2021, Beningbrough’s garden welcomed a host of archaeologists, TV crew and presenter Hugh Dennis to film for an episode of The Great British Dig. Visitors at the time were able to watch as they worked, see the finds and talk to the specialists to gain an insight into some of the history hidden under our feet. 

Archaeologist Mark discussing the finds
Camera crew around a man talking in a tent
Archaeologist Mark discussing the finds

Resurfacing The Great British Dig*

Tuesday 19 July 2022 at 11am, 1pm and 3pm

During the Festival of Archaeology, join Regional Archaeologist Mark Newman who features with the experts on the programme, for an hours walk and talk. Revisit the researched areas together and hear his interpretation of the results to date. Uncover what the latest findings might suggest or indeed challenge some previous thinking.  *Hugh Dennis not included.

It's free to join, normal admission charges apply. Sign up on arrival, and please arrive at the meet point 10 minutes ahead of your start time. We recommend wearing sturdy footwear and planning for changeable weather. The terrain will be uneven grassed surfaces. 

Watch the episode online and see if you agree with their interpretation of the findings.

What did the team investigate?

The north front

Lidar imagery has shown an area in the parkland to the north of the hall may be hiding something...the team planned to dig large trenches to try and find a few more answers. 

The painting itself is now back at Beningbrough as part of the National Trust collection, currently not on show to the public. It once hung in Mickletgate House in York, most likely to show off the family country estate, but we have no evidence if the extra buildings were ever built. 

Mediterranean Garden

There are very few photographs showing what this area looked like beyond recent history, however one or two black and white shots hint at a few possibilities. Three trenches were dug to try to determine how this part of the garden might have once looked.

Looking for clues in the garden
People watching a digger dig a trench in a lawn
Looking for clues in the garden

South of the hall

This hazy sketch is attributed to Samuel Buck who was known to record gardens, not design what they might look like. It’s fair to say, believing the garden ever looking like this varies person to person. However, latest imagery does seem to indicate a fine channel, as mentioned at the bottom of the sketch.

A partial Samuel Buck sketch is the only historic clue
Historic sketch of half a garden
A partial Samuel Buck sketch is the only historic clue

The team investigated an area around the ha-ha and into the parkland to try and find the elusive channel and give insight where to investigate next.