Archaeological excavations at Wimpole
Discovering our past this Summer
Wimpole Estate is about to add another chapter to its long history.
Plans for a new visitor welcome and gateway to the Estate with a whole new arrival for visitors, including a new car park, are set to get underway later this year.
This ambitious project gives us a rare archaeological opportunity to glimpse at the past layers of Wimpole’s history before moving it well and truly into the future. What will you discover while we dig?
Why are digging at Wimpole?
As part of the planning permission gained for the improvements to the Estate, including a new visitor welcome and car park, it is a requirement that we carry out archaeological excavations before any building works begin.
Where are we digging?
We’ll be digging in a section of the arable field to the South East of the house. We’re not excavating the whole field - a survey carried out in 2015 and previous investigations have allowed us to identify the ‘core’ of the settlement site and which parts of it that will be affected by the development.
The initial plan is to excavate and record a measured area of the site, based on the layout of the development and the known archaeology remains.
As the dig progresses, there will be ongoing decisions regarding how to excavate the site effectively, where to investigate further and if it is necessary to extend the excavation area to look at significant archaeological features.
Who are the archaeologists?
Oxford Archaeology East, who have worked on various projects at Wimpole for over 30 years, have been commissioned to undertake the archaeological excavations on behalf of the National Trust to ensure we record any significant remains that lie under the field before the new car park and visitor welcome is built. They will be liaising with our archaeologists throughout the project and planning the progression of the dig over the Summer.
What can you see?
There will be a unique opportunity for people to see the archaeologists in action throughout the Summer, which will include meeting the archaeologists during the dig, seeing the artefacts found and taking a walking tour up to the trench. As well as finding out more about the layers of history already discovered at Wimpole.
When is the dig?
Archaeologists are expected to be on site from 13 August – 14 September but our recent very dry then very wet weather has slightly delayed things for the team.
We're planning to have tours up and running from 20 August.
Check out our events listings for more details of what is happening each day including tours, family trail and the Big Archaeology Weekend in September.