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ARCHAEOLOGISTS have begun work to find the “lost” gardens of a Suffolk town.A geophysical survey is being carried out in the grounds of Abbot's Hall, in Stowmarket, which neighbours the Museum of East Anglian Life.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have begun work to find the “lost” gardens of a Suffolk town.

A geophysical survey is being carried out in the grounds of Abbot's Hall, in Stowmarket, which neighbours the Museum of East Anglian Life.

It is hoped the work, being carried out by the Suffolk Archaeological Unit, will uncover evidence of early 18th Century gardens. If identified, a full dig could be carried out to excavate the historic remains.

The museum is hoping to restore Abbot's Hall and is currently in the process of applying for a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for up to £2million.


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If secured, this will allow for the restoration of Abbot's Hall and its gardens, further development of a nature reserve on the site and the overhaul of current displays.

The hall was built in 1709, at a time when it was fashionable for gardens to be designed geometrically. If traces of this can be found, it will form the basis for the design of new gardens.

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Tony Butler, museum director, said: “We are relying on archaeology for clues as there is no surviving plans or drawings of the gardens.

“Positive results from the survey will also reinforce our case with the HLF and help us fulfil our dream to create the lost gardens of Stowmarket.”

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