1735 estate map

This September we are partnering with Surrey County Archaeological Unit for a week of exploration and learning. 

Archaeology Week at West Horsley Place will allow volunteers led by a team of professional archaeologists to learn how to excavate and identify artefacts and features. They will experience the thrill of revealing the past of this historic site. We will work with SCAU to open archaeological trenches, excavating areas of significance in the house and gardens. Over 160 volunteers including school groups and young people aged 16-25 will be involved in this exciting project.

Nowal Shaikhley, Archaeological Operations Manager, 

team of volunteers working on an archaeological digIn 2018 archaeological work recorded a number of features that suggest the medieval and later development of West Horsley Place may have been yet more complex. In particular they suggest there was substantial early Tudor development, including a major late 15th or early 16th century brick culvert and the brick-built corner of a substantial building of probably similar date, where a major hearth structure suggests it may have been a big new kitchen.

two women on an archaeological digAnother area of interest is the area to the south of an originally longer west range. It is unlikely to have been significantly disturbed since at least the mid 17th century and targeted work here can explore the alternative hypotheses relating to medieval and early Tudor development. It might also enable the scale and character of work at different dates to be better understood and reveal artefactual evidence for its medieval origins, and perhaps also for a longer history of occupation on the site."

Martin Higgins, Chair of Surrey Domestic Buildings Research Group, 

"This is a rare opportunity to use targeted archaeological investigation to answer questions raised by ongoing building analysis of West Horsley Place.  Details of the building fabric reveals the 1425-28 ranges were originally longer, even though what survives is enormous by any standards.  Archaeological work may help us understand just how big the manor house was in the early 15th century.  Even in its reduced form the medieval sections are unmatched by any contemporary building in Surrey."

exterior detail of the manor houseJo Ellison, Community Engagement Project Coordinator, 

“There is so much yet to be discovered about West Horsley Place. We're excited to welcome a wide variety of volunteers to take part in our Community Archaeology Week, to explore our stories and learn more about this historic estate. Volunteers will be joining us from Surrey Roman Studies Group, the Raleigh School, Woking College and many more."


Open Day on Sunday 25th September

Community Archaeology week ends with our Open Day on Sunday 25th September. Come along to see the open excavations and hear what has been discovered by our volunteers throughout the week.

This project is part of our National Lottery Heritage Fun programme Heritage Without Barriers. Thank you to Lottery Players for making it possible. 

Made possible with National Lottery Heritage Fund logo