'Have a Go' Archaeology - Survey Completed and Final Report Produced
All the archaeology sessions on the Bath Grounds have now been completed and the final report produced. Mercian Archaeological Services provided the professional support to allow lots of people to 'Have a Go' with geophysics surveys (see film below).
The survey focused on earthworks in the southeast corner of the Bath Ground site at the location of former ponds . Anomalies in the geophysical surveys and results from the topographic survey suggest that there are potentially preserved (in-filled) remains of a medieval pond, and possible remains of the boundary of a formal medieval/ post-medieval garden.
A second area of focus was the northern part of the Bath Grounds site, where drainage culverts and underground pipes (including for the Gilwiskaw Brook) were detected, possibly associated with the former Ivanhoe Baths.
To the east of the Bath Grounds a further two fields were surveyed, these are the Memorial Field and the field to the south belonging to Leicestershire County Council. Both fields lie within the remains of medieval/ post-medieval formal gardens associated with the Castle.
The Memorial Field has been subject to landscaping and changes in elevation (which may mask archaeological remains); the field was underlain by a complex system of land drains which were detected as anomalies in the magnetometer survey.
The ‘Council Field’ to the south of the Memorial Field contained possible preserved remains of the former boundaries of the formal gardens of the castle mentioned above.
The survey detected information about water management in the site including drainage systems, underground culverts relating to altered water courses and pipework possibly related to the Ivanhoe Baths.
Ephemeral anomalies detected in the Bath Grounds may represent early occupation.
The pond system possibly preserved in the southeast of the Bath Grounds site, and the possible remains of medieval garden features at that location detected by this survey and in the field to the east is of particular interest. The ponds are believed to have formed part of a designed landscape for the castle, and as such may represent part of the setting for the Scheduled Monument of the Castle, within the boundaries of the Bath Grounds.