The Friends of Wanstead Parklands are delighted to be participating in the 22nd CBA Festival of British Archaeology, the annual celebration of heritage coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology.
Between 14-29 July, the Festival is showcasing the very best of British archaeology, by presenting over 750 special events organised and hosted by museums, heritage organisations, national and countryside parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists across the United Kingdom. You don't have to be an archaeologist to join in - the Festival gives everyone the opportunity to learn about their local heritage, see archaeology in action, and get hands on with history.
The Friends of Wanstead Parklands are staging a small exhibition at the Temple in Wanstead Park. This opened on 15 July, and focuses on how archaeology is shedding light on the development of Wanstead Park - one of London's most remarkable, though least known, historic landscapes
Wanstead Park was recently described by Dr Simon Thurley, of English Heritage, as
"of immense importance, being one of the most significant parks in England".
Best known as the remnant of a famous landscaped garden, it has an extensive lake system, two fine garden buildings and several rare (though overgrown) ornamental earthworks. It also contains an enigmatic Roman site and has recently produced evidence of Bronze Age occupation.
The exhibition includes a number of historic images, as well as photographs and some stunning LiDAR images created by members of the Friends.
The material in the exhibition may be downloaded as a PDF file (roughly 4mb).
In addition to the exhibition, the Friends will be holding a programme of free guided walks over the FBA and Olympic period.
On Sundays, we will be holding the Big Wanstead Park Walk. Starting at 11:00am at St Mary's Church, Overton Drive, this will take 2-3 hours, and will include most significant surviving features of the historic park. It will end at the Temple. Dates are 22 and 29 July, and 5, 12 and 19 August.
On Tuesdays, we will be holding the Wanstead Park Introductory Walk. Starting at 11:00 at the car park at the Warren Road entrance, it will include some key features of the public park, and end at the Temple. It will take 60-90 minutes. Dates will be 24 and 31 July and 7 and 14 August.
Walks will proceed regardless of the weather, as long as at least one person turns up!
If you enjoy the Festival, why not keep up with the latest in archaeology, and get more involved, by joining the CBA? Benefits include British Archaeology magazine in print and online, member newsletters and publications, and invitations to join fellow members and archaeology experts at special events and weekends.