Dig the Ice House

Dig the Ice House

The Darley Abbey Historical Group (DAHG) have secured  Heritage Lottery Funding for a Community Archaeology Project to part excavate the 18thC Ice House at the side of our Village Hall, in Darley Park, by the Stables.

The project will focus on the exposure of an underground Ice House, associated with Darley Hall, which has been unseen and unused for perhaps 150 years. The site is believed to be very close to the lost Abbey of St Mary's Darley, which was demolished entirely in 1538 and its buildings and contents sold off, never to be seen again. This dig may well expose abandoned underground stonework and maybe even a crypt or Abbey artefacts.
The dig site needs to be cleared of the movable material for the 5th and 6th September so that the Derby Parks Volunteers can do the heavy clearance work and build Windrows (just like the one between the Tree trail and the Hydrangea collection) at the bottom and side of the village hall garden.  The material cleared from the site will be used to fill the windrows.  Once the Derby Parks Volunteers have done their work on 5th & 6th, the next important event will be surface level investigation and geophysical testing on the 11th September.  Excavation is planned to take place in the last two weeks of September.  
Volunteers are needed to move a mix of brush, small sticks, and branches of all sizes.
Please feel free to bring secateurs and cut back the ivy!!
There are signs showing where to move the stuff .
As you go into the wooded area, the area that needs clearing (i.e. movable stuff ) is to your left. You will find two labelled cones at the front of the area.
Put the ivy, plant material, small sticks, brush, and stems  at the bottom by the fence/tree. (Children could do this, excite them about their heritage!)
For medium size wood go the bottom fence, go left. (looks like someone had started a pile, possible den?)
Put BIG Wood further on from the medium size wood.  This will be used to make a log pile at the end of the big windrow at the bottom of the village hall garden, at the top of the steep part, currently covered in nettles.
Jonathan Platt, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, East Midlands, said: "Archaeology is a great way to allow people to quite literally unearth the heritage of their community.  This project will allow the fascinating history of Darley Abbey to come to light."

Text courtesy of DAHG

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