The Great British Dig at Beningbrough

Four people standing on a drive with a hall behind

See The Vanished Buildings of Beningbrough on The Great British Dig - Wednesday 19 January, 9pm on More 4.

Beautiful Beningbrough on TV

During a sunny week last summer, 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

The episode is scheduled to air on January 19, 9pm on More 4. See what conclusions the team came to following their week in the Yorkshire countryside and if you agree from the evidence discovered so far. 

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.