• Information and<br />entertainment
  • Leading  visitors around<br />the site and explaining<br />its layout

Woking Palace Archaeological Project 2012

Open Day - 30 September 2012

Sunday may not have been the warmest of days but that did not deter more than 200 members of the public taking a walk to Woking Palace to see the results of the excavations that had been taking place. They were rewarded with a warm welcome and an avenue of stalls set up by local heritage organisations.

A new model showing how the Palace may have looked in around 1540 was on show for the first time at the Open Day. It has been created by Lyn Smith, a member of both the Friends of Woking Palace and Surrey Archaeological Society, who having dug on the site wanted to give visitors a visual representation of what the Palace might have looked like before the demolition and desertion of the site in the early part of the 17th century and so help them understand the surviving foundations in the trenches. All agreed that it helped a good deal when there is so little left above ground.

On being called for their timed tour, visitors heard about the history of the site from members of the Friends of Woking Palace who then guided them around the trenches to various stopping points. At these points archaeologists who had worked on the site explained the details that the archaeology had revealed about the transition over 400 years from a magnificent medieval manor complex into a favoured royal palace and of its subsequent decline into obscurity as a farmyard.

Amongst the visitors on the day were those who could remember events on the site from its recent history and who shared their stories with us. In addition we welcomed Jonathan Lord, MP for Woking, Councillor Anne Roberts, the Deputy Mayor of Woking and Councillor John Kingsbury, Leader of the Woking Borough Council together with a number of Elected Members from Surrey County Council.

The project is very grateful to those who made generous donations to support the project which has provided so many with the opportunity to take a hands-on part in exploring their local history and trying archaeology for themselves.

Work continues on assessing the finds and information collected during the course of the excavations and we are all looking forward to hearing the director’s lecture about what has been learnt in this season of excavations. Details of this public lecture will be announced when the date is fixed.

UPDATE: The public lecture by the director of the excavations at Woking Palace, Rob Poulton, was on Saturday 23rd March 2013. It was one of a series of talks about the Medieval and Tudor residences in Surrey and the lifestyles of the elite in an era of change.

Stands and stalls

Stands and stalls

Model of Palace

Model of Palace

Deputy Mayor & Councillor

Deputy Mayor & Councillor

Woking Council Members

Woking Council Members

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