Sheffield Archaeology in the News!

PhD students help direct community excavation of local Broomhill lost heritage garden

Sheffield Archaeology PhD students Courtenay Crichton-Turley and Rebecca Hearne, and Jessica Midlane, a current BA Classical and Historical Archaeology student, recently helped direct a day of excavations in the abandoned garden at Broomhill Community Library.

Working together with the Broomhill Community Library group and teachers and students from Broomhill Infant School, Courtenay, Rebecca and Jessica are helping to uncover a secret garden behind this local library.

Read more in the University’s News in Brief report

The Department of Archaeology takes great pride in our varied collaborations outside academia which involve schools, colleges, community groups, companies and public organisations both in the UK and across the World.

The heritage garden was installed by top designer Percy Cane in the late 1920s, when the house was a private home for steel magnate Arthur Samuel Lee and his family. Cane is famous for his work at Dartington Hall in Devon, as well as for producing gardens for elite clients such as the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie.

Broomhill Library

Excavation

The excavations were reported in the Star and Sheffield Telegraph who both drew attention to the vital contribution of volunteers to the increasing momentum behind restoration efforts at the library.

Read more in the Star

The Department of Archaeology takes great pride in our varied collaborations outside academia which involve schools, colleges, community groups, companies and public organisations both in the UK and across the World.

Research on this garden is ongoing, with further excavations set to take place in June. Visitors can tour the library garden and learn more about its history as part of the Broomhill Festival from 10th-18th June 2017, and in a series of events this autumn called ’60 Years a Library’ which will celebrate the site’s diamond jubilee.

To find out more, visit the website /www.broomhill-library.org.uk

This project is an excellent example of how archaeology can make links between different sectors of communities, bringing people together to make a real difference to our knowledge of our local history and key places in our communities and how the University is putting its civic agenda into practice.

Working with young people is particularly important – the opportunity to see archaeology happening first had has the potential to raise aspirations and inspire the next generation of archaeologists.

Cleaning Finds

Update!

A second period of excavation took place as part of the Broomhill Festival between 10th and 18th June. The Sheffield Archaeology team returned, alongside new team member, BA Classical and Historical Archaeology student Jake Walker.

The team removed over 1m of fill from the fountain, revealing its perfectly-preserved lining and cement base. Slab paths indicating the edges of the pergola and flower beds were uncovered. A series of raised stone flower beds were also identified - the locations of these were previously unknown as all of the stone had been robbed, probably soon after the garden fell into disrepair.
A wide range late Post Medieval finds were recovered. These included tobacco clay pipes, a range of different milk bottles and an old ceramic rum bottle!