Professor Richard Thomas and Dr Naoise Mac Sweeney go 'Digging for Britain' on BBC4

Professor Richard Thomas from our School of Archaeology and Ancient History features on tonight's episode of Digging for Britain as series 2 programme 8 in the popular BBC4 archaeology series features our research-led training excavation at Bradgate Park, childhood home of England’s 'forgotten queen' Lady Jane Grey.

A LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and subsequent walkover survey of the park, conducted in 2014 by University of Leicester researchers, identified more than 250 potential archaeological features not documented within official records. Some of these earthworks appear prehistoric in date and include terracing and a ditched enclosure, which suggests that human occupation and interaction with the landscape has a longer history than previously recognised.

Despite the prehistoric and historic importance of Bradgate Park, there remain many unanswered questions. Discoveries so far have included: a late Mesolithic flint scatter, a Bronze Age enclosure and round house, a medieval hunting lodge, a 17th-century stable, and an unknown earlier phase of stone buildings below Bradgate House.

Professor Thomas' colleague Dr Naoise Mac Sweeney, who is roving reporter on all four episodes of the current series, said: “It is wonderful to have the opportunity to travel around the country and see so many exciting projects. In addition to the work at Bradgate Park, we’ll be conserving remains from a WW2 bomber, which had been lost for decades under the sea. We will also be trying to reconstruct a Mesolithic timber platform from original timbers preserved for millennia in the sea bed.”

Digging for Britain series 8 is broadcast on BBC Four at 9.00pm on Wednesdays and is also on iPlayer.