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Hulton Park Community Archaeological dig to reopen 3rd and 4th September

Following the recent success of Peel L&P’s community archaeological dig at Hulton Park in partnership with the University of Salford; members of Bolton’s community and beyond are being invited back to Hulton Park to dig into a fascinating part of local history this September.

The dig site will be reopening as part of the Hulton Park Happenings: Garden Party weekend taking place on the 3rd and 4th September. The dig will be one of several fun and family-friendly activities taking place over the weekend at Hulton Park, which includes everything from disco yoga and outdoor cinema screenings, to live performances, mini golf in the garden, lawn games and guided history walks.

600 people registered in 48 hours to take part in the last community dig at Hulton Park and now those who missed out on the chance or loved taking part first-time round and want to take part in the dig again, can once again don their fedoras or fleeces and have a go at channelling their inner Indiana Jones or ‘Time Team’ hero.

The Garden Party weekend takes inspiration from the garden parties hosted by the Hulton family and will take place on the same lawns and pleasure grounds as those in the 18-1900s. Hulton Hall itself was demolished by the Hultons in 1958, however the Salford Archaeology team and volunteers have been excavating the site and have uncovered large, visible areas of the halls foundations.

Hulton Park and the Hulton family had a wide spectrum of historical and cultural connections, including being the home of William Hulton, who in 1819 signed the order that led to the Peterloo Massacre, and Hulton Park being the site of the UK’s third worst mining accident in the Pretoria Pit disaster of 1910, whilst the Hulton family and archive were the inspiration for the hit TV series Downton Abbey. The archaeological excavation is a rare opportunity to see first-hand an important part of this historic estate.

Peel L&P’s long-term vision for the Hulton Park Estate includes restoring the landscape back to its former glory, including the pleasure grounds, historic walled kitchen garden and serpentine lake and creating new walking and cycling routes through the Park for the public to enjoy.

Graham Mottershead, Project Manager at Salford Archaeology, said: “We have loved working with Peel L&P on the Hulton Park dig this summer and we are really excited that we will be opening the site back up for even more members of the community to get involved in uncovering their local history.

“Thanks to the help of the public, we have discovered some interesting finds whilst working on the dig, including fragments of Staffordshire Slipware, 17th and 18th century tobacco pipes and the foundations of Hulton Hall itself. We’re looking forward to working alongside the local community again at the Hulton Park Happening Garden Party which takes lots of inspiration for the Hulton’s own history.”

Emma Green, Project Manager for the Hulton Park Happenings at Peel L&P, said: “We are really looking forward to partnering up with the University of Salford again on this hugely popular activity.

“We were delighted to welcome so many people from the local community to Hulton Park and we are really pleased to be able to offer even more members of the community the chance to get involved and come down in a safe and social way.

“Celebrating Hulton Park’s history is really important to us and our long-term vision for Hulton Park includes restoring parts of estate back to their former glory like the pleasure grounds, walled kitchen garden and serpentine lake, in addition to opening up new walking and cycling routes through the Park, for people to use and enjoy.”

The dig is suitable for visitors six years-old and over with no previous experience of working on a dig before required. Equipment will be provided, with the University of Salford asking those attending to wear sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing.

Tickets for the Hulton Park Happenings Garden Party which includes access to the community archaeological dig are available here: Peel L&P Events | Eventbrite