Unexpected finds at Clumber Park dig

It's Peter and his bone button
It's Peter and his bone button

An excavation has unearthed curiosities into the past of Clumber Park including preserved cellars and decorative plaster during its second archaeological dig.

While Clumber House has been demolished since 1938 the National Trust which owns the park near Worksop has said the cellars has “survived really well.”

The 18th Century mansion caught fire several times but the effects of the First World War and the Great Depression resulted in the mansion being demolished.

Rachael Hall, 40, senior archaeologist for the trust in the midlands has said she was also surprised to find the cellars extending under a part of the house they did not expect to find them.

She said: “It was the first time planned excavation since the 70’s. At the trench under the where the grand hall and yellow drawing room were the vaulted tops of three cellars.

“We didn’t expect to find them it shows that there was a hole under ground complex.”

The dig was intended to represent both the lives of the staff at the mansion and the lives of the family of the Dukes of Newcastle who lived there.

One trench dug the footings of where the grand hall and yellow drawing room was and the other dug where the kitchen and the butler’s pantry was.

Among the findings were remnants of a mosaic floor where the grand hall stood and decorative plaster.

Ms Hall said: “There was a huge amount of demolition rubble but there was also decorated plaster from walls and ceilings of the mansion.

“We also found a couple fragment so mosaic, people think only roman used as decoration but they used it in the 19th Century grand hall. There were small fragments of the mosaic it seems that when it was demolished in 30’s they did a really good job.”

One of Ms Hall’s favourite things that was found was a 20th Century light switch.

She said: “Clumber was one of earliest country stately homes to get electricity. It was a lovely find as it is an early piece which you can also recognise from your own home.”

She also said the trust has plans to excavate the site further but “not immediately.”

She said: “We would like to explore other rooms and it would be great to explore the cellars.”