As part of the Festival of Archaeology 2017 we carried out a public dig over one weekend in Cheetham Park, Stalybridge. It was a chance for the general public to see archaeology in progress and even to have a go if they wished, as many did.
The site of Eastwood House, the home of the Cheethams, has been the subject of digs in the past, but this time we opened up a new trench where we expected to find part of the front of the building. One of the more interesting structural features uncovered was a rather deep drain that seemed to have run along the front of the house and quite a lot of its iron grill ended up in the finds tray, along with pottery, the ubiquitous clay pipe stems and a fascinating piece of slate that seemed to have had some designs drawn upon it. That one’s still got us scratching our heads!
The dig was very well attended, especially on the Sunday when we enjoyed better weather. Lots of youngsters joined us and one lad made our first find – a piece of tile with the word “death” written on it! He was thrilled to bits, as you might imagine.
Alison, one of our vistors, subsequently submitted an excellent write-up of the event to the Archaeology and Metal Detecting Magazine. You can read it here