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Staff from Wessex Archaeology Sheffield are providing on-site supervision for the University of Sheffield’s training excavation at Manor Lodge, the site of the medieval and 16th century hunting lodge of Sheffield where Mary Queen of Scots spent part of her captivity in the custody of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess of Hardwick.

The lodge fell into ruin during the 17th century and in the 18th and 19th centuries a pottery kiln was constructed at the site, coal mining occurred and workers cottages were built amidst the ruins. All traces of this industrial activity were stripped away in the early 20th century and the site, a Scheduled Monument, became subsumed within the urban sprawl of Sheffield from the 1930s. The training excavation aims to identify evidence for these later activities as well as the exact site of the medieval lodge.

The project is supported by a grant from the Higher Education Innovation Fund and offers excavation training and specialist field schools, as well as introductory day courses aimed at a wider section of the community. Working in partnership with the University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology, Wessex are responsible for supervising and managing the archaeological project, which runs from 21st June to 30th July. Sheffield staff will also lead the historic buildings field school between the 12th and 16th July: www.sheffield.ac.uk/archaeology/field-schools-index/manor-lodge-project.html

Manor Lodge, Sheffield Window from Manor Lodge, Sheffield