Lyme Park and my first archaeological dig at Wood Hall!

On stage in the Long Gallery, as the family did in the Edwardian period.


At the beginning of October, some of the HLF trainees met up at Lyme Park.  It was a great chance to look around at a partly owned Stockport Council site, which is run by the National Trust.  I have previously done a university placement at Lyme Park and some volunteering, so it was nice to go back.  I even saw some of my handy work in the interpretation – during my placement I searched the archives for images and documents that could be used in a scrapbook for the Edwardian nursery bedroom.  Some of the images now appear on the new house map.  I felt quite proud of myself! We also had a quick walk around a small part of the gardens, and may or may not have ended the day by having a meeting about the upcoming Wood Hall dig in the tearoom….

The house map for Lyme Park, which includes images I found in the Lyme archives and scanned in for a placement project in 2010!


Emma, Juliette and Katie in the gardens at Lyme Park

Emma, Juliette and I in the gardens at Lyme Park

The Dig

Day 1: Unearthing the cobblestones, before and after…

As mentioned in a previous post, a community excavation took place from 8th October – 19th October at Reddish Vale Country Park, which all of the HLF trainees completed research and compiled work for.  We also  undertook two days of digging at the excavation site, to work with volunteers and the University of Salford archaeology team to help uncover the secrets of Wood Hall.  Our main task was to reveal the cobblestones, by using a mattock and shovels to dig away the earth; later using trowels to scrape and clean them.  Backbreaking work, but it was fun and lovely to be outside in the crisp Autumn sunshine!  Here are some photographs from the two dig days (10th October and 17th October), and from the open day (20th October) in which four of the trainees and I presented the work we had done about Wood Hall and the history and conservation of buildings in the Reddish area.

Day one: Katie, Emma and Greg

Day one: Juliette and Rosie drawing up plans

Day one: Scraping mud from the cobblestones


Day one: Myself wielding a mattock


Day two: Unearthing more cobblestones… before and after


Day two: Trowel



Day two: Emma working on the cobbles


Day two: Katie working on the cobbles


Day two: Work that had been done on digging out the foundations

Day two: Work that had been done on digging out the cellar

Open Day: Table displays created by Juliette, Rosie, Emma and Katie


Open Day: The timeline and posters I created


Open Day: various


Open day: Tiles on the finds table


Open Day: Museums Collections, Conservation and Libraries & Archives trainees


Open Day: (clockwise L-R) Intact lightbulb, ceramic egg, marble fireplace fragment with date scratched in, and porcelain flapper girl ornament


Open Day: All the HLF trainees bar two – (L-R) Yours truly, Emma, Juliette, Rosie, and Katie

The dig led to uncovering many foundations and steps down to a cellar; and some of the archaeological finds included tiles, a lightbulb, glass bottles, marble fireplace fragments, and coins.  It may be possible to bid for more funds to extend the dig in the future –  I am sure there is a lot lurking underground and a lot more about Wood Hall and Wood Hall Farm that is yet to be discovered. 


3 thoughts on “Lyme Park and my first archaeological dig at Wood Hall!

  1. is it possible to find any photoes of the children who were in the bishop browns memorial school and convent on high streein stockport cheshire in the 1911 census or records relating to same i would love to know as i had an ancestor a child there at the time he was only 12 years old many thanks bgt

    • Hello Brigid,

      Thanks for your comment. I have searched the Stockport Museum Collection and there are no objects relating to the Bishop Brown school. However, the Local Heritage Library in Stockport may be able to find some information and/or images in their archive. I will pass on your enquiry and someone will get back to you ASAP. I hope that you can find some information about your ancestor!

      Best wishes


  2. Pingback: Reddish Archaelogical Dig Results > Stockport Heritage Trust

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