Albury Park geophysical survey and test pitting 2023

volunteer digging a test pit

The original medieval settlement and manor of Albury, in Albury Park, is well-known for its displacement by the local lord(s) of the manor in the late 18th and early 19th century and re-location a kilometre away, to the present-day village, formerly the manor of Weston. Little is known of its earlier history, including its precise extent and any evidence of medieval activity beyond its Domesday ‘Old Saxon’ church (TQ 0631 4785) and mill along the banks of the Tillingbourne. Equally uncertain is the layout and extent of the former cottages and structures within the park of early modern date, which were almost entirely demolished by the early 19th century.

A community archaeology project, run by Surrey Archaeological Society, began in 2023 which would assess historic documents for the area and conduct a geophysical survey of the site which, alongside assessment of features visible from LiDAR, would inform an updated mapped plan of the historic site. The project would also undertake a controlled test pitting project of the site in order to date and potentially characterise its settlement over time.

Although few features of note were identified from the magnetometry survey, traces of the cottages were revealed through electrical resistance which coincided with their apparent locations on historic maps. 18 test pits in total were excavated in the first season across the meadow area between the Tillingbourne and modern drive. The results were variable, but included the foundations of one of the larger, probable 16th or 17th-century cottages in Brewhouse Meadow and in situ medieval levels at the manor’s western end.  

The full interim report for the 2023 season will be uploaded here shortly. In the meantime, you can read the posters which accompanied the display PDF icon Albury Park posters.pdf

volunteers around a test pit