Is Revesby about to reveal its secrets?

Some of the volunteers who took part in the dig at Revesby Estate.
Some of the volunteers who took part in the dig at Revesby Estate.

Historic secrets from the Revesby Estate could be unearthed by a team of volunteers working on a county-wide project.

Earlier this year Heritage Lincolnshire launched an exciting opportunity for volunteers in communities across the county to explore the rich history of the landscape around them.

The three year project - called ‘Layers of History’ - covers the whole of Lincolnshire.

A programme of training events is being developed for people interested learning about the archaeological techniques used to reveal the history buried beneath their feet.

So far, volunteers have been carrying out activities centred on Revesby.

They have been busy learning how to survey the Cistercian Abbey earthworks, interpret aerial photos and old maps, undertake archival research and improve their landscape photography.

They have also formed an online Revesby research group that is currently researching the Victorian Revesby Abbey formal gardens, the stories behind ‘Saffron Garth’ and ‘Paradise’, the prisoner of war ‘Camp 79’ and lots more.

Beverley Gormley, Senior Project Officer (Layers of History), said: “We are extremely grateful to the Wiggins-Davies and Hollis families for enthusiastically welcoming us onto their lands at Revesby.

“It is proving to be a really fascinating site. Perhaps our volunteers will discover the site of Sir Joseph Banks’ house!”

Sir Joseph was a world renowned botanist and one of Horncastle’s most famous residents.

The family home was at Revesby and, although the exact site has never been identified, members of the Joseph Banks Society say they will be interested to see what the Layers of Earth project discovers.

From Revesby, the volunteers will be moving onto Freiston Shore which still has many relatively unknown World War Two gun emplacements, pill boxes and other structures.

The Layers of Earth project, costing £600,000, began in February. It is funded by several organisations, including the County Council. and the Heritage Lottery.Fund (HLF).

Over the next three years, alongside training courses and events around the county, Layers of History will be focussing on eight study sites.

The first study site is Revesby and volunteers have been busy learning how to survey the Cistercian abbey.