29 August 2017

Historic bowling alley uncovered at Marble Hill House

Archaeologists made the important discovery after a second phase of excavations at the property

Marble Hill dig

Remains of a historic bowling alley dating back more than 250 years have been discovered at Marble Hill House.

The find has been revealed by English Heritage as archaeologists begin a second phase of investigations at the property.

Members of the public will be able to get close to the action and learn more about the works thanks to a series of excavation tours and archaeology workshops which will run throughout August.

TRANSFORMING THE HOUSE AND PARK

The excavations are part of our larger Marble Hill Revived Project. In addition to the nine-pin alley, English Heritage is hoping to reinstate a number of other historical elements of the landscape such as tree avenues and groves, a hedged arcade, flower garden, orchard, terraces, and serpentine paths.

Megan Leyland, Senior Properties Historian, English Heritage said:

'Archaeologists will be opening up two areas to the north and west of the grotto to try and find out its original extent, how its appearance changed over time and if there were any related structures. They'll also be looking for an arcade which is shown on the c1752 plan, trying to establish what it was made from and how it was built as well as investigating the landscaped terraces that used to run across the lawn between the house and the river.'

LOTTERY GRANT PROVIDES HUGE BOOST

English Heritage has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £4.08m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund's Parks for People Programme, for its plans to transform Marble Hill House and Park. As well as restoring the historic gardens, the charity will be turning back years of underinvestment by upgrading the park's sports facilities (including adding a new changing area for women for the first time), replanting overgrown areas of the park to create new spaces, adding a new play area for children and opening Marble Hill House to the public for free.

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