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Find out more about the measured survey methods used at Wakehurst Place.

Wessex Archaeology was recently commissioned by the National Trust to carry out extensive survey work at Wakehurst Place - an Elizabethan Mansion set in 188 hectares of parkland estate in West Sussex. In collaboration with Richard Griffiths Architects, Wessex undertook a Historic Buildings and Structures Survey as part of the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan to guide and inform decisions regarding the future of the property.

Following a programme of geophysical survey and the main survey and analysis of the buildings, a programme of archaeological evaluation trenching was carried out. This confirmed that the Elizabethan mansion originally had a south range, and revealed the stone foundations of the southern half of the west wing which was demolished in the mid 19th century. Earlier stone walling, a chimney base and a brick hearth of likely fifteenth or early sixteenth century date were also found, which showed that the earlier Wakehurst house had been situated immediately to the south of the Elizabethan one. Other features relating to garden landscaping were recorded to the south of the present mansion.

Wessex is pleased to continue its involvement in this project with the commissioning of a landscape survey of the wider estate. This has been commissioned by Kew Royal Botanic Gardens who are long term tenants of the National Trust at Wakehurst. The landscape survey of the parkland and wider estate is being undertaken by Wessex Archaeology’s specialist Historic Landscape team and they are working in partnership with landscape architects, GROSS. MAX. The survey will aim to reveal the possible larger extent of the formal gardens around the mansion, the nature of the Weald woodland landscape and increase the understanding of water management within the estate.

Our work at Wakehurst Place plays on our strengths of being a practice with extensive in-house capabilities encompassing heritage consultancy, historic buildings survey and analysis, historic landscape study, geophysical survey, excavation and reporting. Negotiations are now underway with the National Trust with a view to possibly undertaking further works at the estate in the autumn.

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