Masonry recording

A bird’s eye view of heritage

Poltimore House is planning a special Open Weekend as part of the national Heritage Open Days, 10 and 11 September 2011. 

The weekend marks the last opportunity to see the house in full before the first stage of repairs to the roof begin.

It will also provide a chance to see the results from the research and fieldwork undertaken by archaeologists and historians from the University of Exeter and volunteers involved in the Poltimore Community and Landscape Project.

The University of Exeter and Poltimore House Trust have been working with a team of enthusiastic volunteers and school groups to investigate the history and archaeology of the Poltimore Estate. Over the last year, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project has provided volunteers with new skills in landscape archaeology and documentary research, enabled detailed recordings of garden features and supported volunteers participating in a geophysical survey of the gardens. The results from the research and fieldwork are being brought together by volunteers and project staff to create a display for the Heritage Open Weekend.

Oliver Creighton, Associate Professor in Archaeology at the University of Exeter said:"The Poltimore Landscapes project is a fantastic opportunity for people to engage with Poltimore's multi-layered history, archaeology and heritage and we hope that our work can serve as a platform for giving this unique environment the profile and attention it deserves".

To help to see the Poltimore landscape from a new angle, a tethered balloon will form part of the Heritage Open Weekend (Saturday only) where visitors to Poltimore House will be able to get a bird's eye view of the grounds and wider landscape. Visitors will be encouraged to contribute to a photographic competition and capture the essence of Poltimore and its landscape on camera.

During the course of the weekend visitors will also have the opportunity to see ‘archaeology in action’ as volunteers excavate a test pit in the gardens to reveal the archaeology lying just below the ground surface. Dr Oliver Creighton will give a talk on the archaeology and a University of Exeter historian, Professor Henry French will be on hand to decipher any documents that might throw light on the history of the Poltimore Estate.

The Poltimore Community and Landscape Project will be continuing to work with volunteers to unravel Poltimore’s past. This will involve a geophysical survey, field walking around Poltimore House and a continuation of the current earthwork surveying and documentary research.

Date: 8 September 2011

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