Have archaeologists found a lost mansion of Devon at Killerton?

Archaeologists working with the National Trust’s Killerton estate believe they may have found the location of the lost Killerton mansion that was started in 1775, but never completed.

The lost house was re-discovered almost by accident. Rumours of the mansion, three times bigger than the surviving building at Killerton and more befitting of the Acland family’s wealth and status, have circulated for many years – but no-one has been able to find where the building work was located. All that has remained of the mansion are designs by renowned architect, James Wyatt, a few surviving records and three theories about why it was never completed nearly 240 years ago. Continue reading…

Volunteers helped National Trust rangers in Dorset give the Cerne Giant its annual haircut

The Romano-British Cerne Giant, thought to be Hercules, carved in chalk in the hillside at Cerne Abbas in Dorset (c)National Trust Images

 

Mild, wet autumn weather has resulted in above-average grass growth on the hillside, near Dorchester, threatening to obscure the Giant.

Rob Rhodes, National Trust Countryside Manager for West Dorset, said: “Record grass growth meant that the Cerne Giant was looking a bit sorry for himself. The sheep that graze the hillside throughout the year needed a bit of help from our ten volunteers and five rangers.” Continue reading…

Stourhead restores Alexander Pope Quote

Pictures By Steven Haywood - The recarving an Alexander Poper inscription at the Grotto at National Trust's Stourhead Grotto, -using the traditional methods and tools.

The National Trust team at Stourhead, in Wiltshire, are working with experts from Cliveden Conservation to restore the worn lettering to a quote written by Alexander Pope in the first half of the 18th century and carved into the curved marble slab situated in the Grotto [1].

The recarving an Alexander Poper inscription at the Grotto at National Trust's Stourhead Grotto (c)National Trust/Steven Haywood

The recarving an Alexander Pope inscription at the Grotto at National Trust’s Stourhead Grotto (c)National Trust/Steven Haywood

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Eye Tracking comes to Stourhead

Scientists from the ‘Eye Tracking Collective.landscape architecture’ at the Osnabrueck University of Applied Sciences in Germany are working with the National Trust’s Stourhead in Wiltshire to study how visitors to the world-famous garden interact with the landscape around them.

stourhead-eye-tracking-glasses-inside-the-pantheon-cnational-trust-stephen-haywood

Eye Tracking glasses inside the Pantheon, Stourhead (c)National Trust/Steven Haywood

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What does the landscape surrounding Stonehenge mean to you?

The Cursus Barrows in the Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire. (c)National Trust Images/John Miller

The National Trust Wiltshire Landscape team are undertaking a survey to learn what people find special about the landscape in which the world famous stone circle sits.

This is part of a national plan to assess the qualities that visitors find important about the special places the National Trust care for. This will help them to understand people’s personal relationships with those places and ensure that they look after them in a way that safeguards that connection for the future.

Stonehenge Landscape (c)National Trust/John Miller

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Wellington Monument Champions sought

The National Trust's Wellington Monument on the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. (c)National Trust/Fran Stothard

People in and around Wellington, who are interested in becoming one of a small group of volunteers needed to support the Wellington Monument Project, have been asked to get in touch with the National Trust by 9 September.

Helen Sharp, National Trust Project Manager, explains: ‘We are looking for a small group of committed individuals at this stage. We’re calling them the ‘Monument Champions’ because we hope they will act as advocates within the local community.

The National Trust's Wellington Monument on the Blackdown Hills

The National Trust’s Wellington Monument on the Blackdown Hills (c)National Trust

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Romans are coming to Chedworth Roman Villa

The Romans are coming to Chedworth (c) Roman Military Research Society

Chedworth Roman Villa is hosting a week-long re-enactment event with the Roman Military Research Society re-creating Roman military and civilian life.

The Roman Military Research Society study, investigate and perform practical experiments to re-create, as accurately as possible, Roman military and civil life.  They demonstrate the skills of the Roman Army and Romano-British people, including infantry, artillery, archery and everyday customs.

A taste of Roman cooking at Chedworth (c) Roman Military Research Society

A taste of Roman cooking at Chedworth (c) Roman Military Research Society

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Work underway on a 21st-century garden with echoes of the past at Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park West Garden (C)National Trust - Barry Batchelor

An ambitious project to transform Dyrham Park’s West Garden is gathering pace.

Inspired by a 17th-century engraving, the National Trust team of gardeners has set to work recreating some elements of the former garden, with a modern twist. 

Dyrham Park West Garden (C)National Trust - Barry Batchelor

Dyrham Park West Garden (C)National Trust – Barry Batchelor

This recent phase began during the major conservation project to replace the leaking roof on the house last year, with new flower beds being marked out on the previously plain lawns. Visitors to the temporary roof-top walkway in the scaffolding were able to get a first glimpse and impressive aerial view of this work.

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In search of The Lizard’s lost shipwrecked souls

 

The view across Pistil Cove, where we believe the bodies were dragged up, and the rocks where The Royal Anne was wrecked. Photo by Michael Hirst

The view across Pistil Cove, where we believe the bodies were dragged up, and the rocks where The Royal Anne was wrecked. Photo by Michael Hirst

Recent survey work has brought archaeologists closer to solving a 300 year old shipwreck mystery at Lizard Point.

In November 1721, 207 unfortunate sailors lost their lives in a ferocious storm when their military transport galley the Royal Anne hit rocks and sank off Lizard Point. Just three people survived that fateful night by clinging to wreckage. Among the dead was Lord Belhaven the newly appointed Governor of Barbados, who was leaving Britain’s shores to take up the posting in mysterious circumstances after the untimely death of his wife.

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