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Historic hall gives archaeology lovers a chance to dig deep...

Lytham Hall survey

Lytham Hall survey

Calling all Time Team lovers... While the popular TV series may have ended, Lytham Hall is throwing open its gates to give archaeology lovers a hands-on chance to dig deep into local history.

Volunteers are being sought for a short programme of excavations in the gardens of the ancestral home of the Clifton family for more than 350 years, which will start next week and continue until the end of September.

Leading the project is Lancaster freelance archaeologist Nigel Neil who is looking for keen recruits to attend an induction and training day at the Hall on Sunday at 10.30am-5pm. As well as seeking diggers willing to get their hands dirty, he wants to sign up volunteers who will be involved in washing and processing finds – as well as sieving soil to retrieve tiny items, which might hold a clue to the hall’s rich past.

The community archaeological project follows the success of work carried out in the Hall’s South Prospect Garden and on The Mount in 2009-10 (pictured above) – when more than 50 trays of historic finds were unearthed.

Work on the grounds, woodland and gardens is already under way as part of a £5m scheme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to restore the Grade One listed Hall, which also includes major restoration and the addition of a visitor centre, holiday accommodation and conference facilities.

Sunday’s induction day will comprise of a Powerpoint introduction by Mr Neil followed by a walking tour. Anyone interested is asked to contact the Lytham Hall Estate Office on (01253) 736652.

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