Bristol

Centuries-old building found in Bristol mansion grounds

Walls uncovered during dig Image copyright Archeoscan
Image caption Walls which have been uncovered are thought to be an old stable block

The remains of a building dating back 400 years have been uncovered during an archaeological dig in the grounds of a mansion house.

Archaeologists decided to excavate the front lawn at Ashton Court mansion in Bristol after parch marks appeared during the dry summer last year.

"Well-preserved substantial walls" which have been uncovered are thought to be an old stable block depicted on historical maps and engravings.

The dig continues until 18 July.

Lead archaeologist Tony Roberts said: "The walls uncovered so far are some of the best preserved that I have witnessed in a number of years excavating."

Image copyright Archeoscan
Image caption Archaeologists decided to excavate the front lawn at Ashton Court after parch marks appeared during the dry summer last year

He said an "older, hitherto unknown building" could be beneath the ground.

Mr Roberts said a geophysical survey indicated there were a lot more walls and rooms under the front lawn than just those of the old wing that housed the 18th Century stables.

Image copyright Archeoscan
Image caption The dig which began on 23 June continues until 18 July

The walls that have been uncovered are about 1.5 ft (0.5m) high, with the floor levels yet to be reached.

The excavation is being conducted by archaeologists Archeoscan.

Formerly the family home of the Smyths, the Grade I-listed Ashton Court mansion is set in 850 acres of parkland owned by the local authority on the outskirts of Bristol.

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