The Firth Park Bandstand Archaeology Project returns!

Dig It! 2017 engages local students and community members in the heritage of a Sheffield park

This year, Sheffield Archaeology’s Dig it! programme returned to Firth Park to continue excavations on the Edwardian bandstand. Constructed in 1900, the Firth Park bandstand was one of four constructed in Sheffield parks – including the one still standing in Weston Park.

Read more about the 2016 project

The project was run jointly by Dr Katherine Fennelly, Lecturer in Heritage at the University of Lincoln, and Colin Merrony from the Department of Archaeology at Sheffield. Sheffield Archaeology students Ceiridwen Blakesley and David Inglis played key roles as trench supervisors and throughout the project, the team was joined by local school students, community members and other Sheffield Archaeology students who worked on the excavation as volunteers.

This year the project focussed on some of the features of the bandstand that was uncovered in 2016. The size of the bandstand was a priority this year, so the width of the stairs footings and the west-facing length of the bandstand foundations were exposed in order to determine the size of the bandstand, and the means of approach. A small test pit was dug to on the opposite side to the stairs, showing the full size of the bandstand. The platform foundations were be cleared of debris, giving an idea what materials were used in the bandstand structure, and the storage space under the bandstand, which was uncovered in 2016, was cleared of debris, exposing a concrete floor. The team also collected paint samples and decorative building material, as well as objects associated with picnicking and leisure activities in the park.

Dr Fennelly will be presenting her research on Sheffield parks and bandstands – including this work at Firth Park – at a conference on post-medieval archaeology in Bremerhaven in September.

Dig It! is a programme that introduces school students to Archaeology by taking part in a range of practical, challenging and fun activities that they will be unlikely to experience at school. It is a great opportunity for Y10-Y13 students to be immersed in an archaeological project, meet undergraduate students and staff, and gain valuable experience that can be used in future applications for college and university courses.

Find out more about Dig It!

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Trench Find