Archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology have discovered a 16th century Tudor garden, associated with the remains of Coleshill Manor in Warwickshire, England.
Works were undertaken in preparation for the HS2 running through the county, where archaeological investigations had initially detected the remains of Colshill Manor and an octagonal moat through studying aerial photography.
Excavations revealed the remains of a large garden that consisted of a well-preserved gravel paths, planting beds, garden pavilion foundations and ornaments organised in a geometric pattern. The site has parallels to the impressive ornamental gardens at Kenilworth Castle and Hampton Court Palace.
The house was owned by Sir Robert Digby, and experts now believe that after marrying an Irish heiress, he built his home in the modern style, along with huge formal gardens measuring 300 metres from end to end, to show off his new wealth and status.
Wessex Archaeology’s Project Officer, Stuart Pierson said:
“For the dedicated fieldwork team working on this site, it’s a once in a career opportunity to work on such an extensive garden and manor site, which spans 500 years. Evidence of expansive formal gardens of national significance and hints of connections to Elizabeth I and the civil war provide us with a fascinating insight into the importance of Coleshill and its surrounding landscape.
“From our original trench evaluation work, we knew there were gardens, but we had no idea how extensive the site would be. As work has progressed, it’s been particularly interesting to discover how the gardens have been changed and adapted over time with different styles. We’ve also uncovered structures such as pavilions and some exceptional artefacts including smoking pipes, coins and musket balls, giving us an insight into the lives of people who lived here.
Header Image Credit : HS2 Media