Archaeological excavation to kick-start summer of events at historic estate

Members of the community in Bolton and beyond are being invited to dig into an important part of the town’s past over the coming weeks at Hulton Park.

A team of archaeologists from the University of Salford will be exploring the site of the former Hulton Hall on the 1,000-acre Hulton Estate from July 25, with members of the public, local schools and other groups invited to join in.

The community dig is the first in a summer programme of events and family activities planned at Hulton Park, as landowners Peel L&P welcome the Bolton community for a rare glimpse of the historic estate. The full programme of Hulton Park Happenings events programme will be announced in the near future and is set to include a number of activities through the second half of 2022 based around culture and arts, history and heritage, sports and wellbeing. The Happenings will also showcase Hulton Park’s potential to host community events in the future, as an integral part of the proposed restoration plans. 

With a myriad of historical and cultural connections as diverse as being the seat of William Hulton, who in 1819 signed the order that led to the Peterloo Massacre, and the site of the UK’s third worst mining accident in the Pretoria Pit disaster of 1910, whilst the Hulton family and archive were the inspiration for the hit TV series Downton Abbey. The archaeological excavation is a rare opportunity to see first-hand an important part of this historic estate.

Now owned by Peel L&P, the company is keen to uncover and celebrate the history of the Hulton Estate as part of its wider restoration plans. Working in partnership with the University of Salford, Peel L&P has commissioned the dig on the site of the former Hulton Hall which is expected to have plenty of undiscovered historical artefacts. Its cellars and foundations are not thought to have been explored since the Hall was demolished by the Hultons in 1958.

As part of the archaeological exploration, local residents and historical enthusiasts will be invited from the 25th July – 6th August to take part in the community dig, whilst learning more about the history of the estate.

There will also be dedicated slots available for local schools and community groups. 

Availability will allow visitors six years-old and over to sign up for a three-hour slot (9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm) or full day, with sun cream and refreshments provided on the day. Equipment will also be provided, with the University of Salford asking those attending to wear sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing. Register to take part here.

More information on the full events programme for the Hulton Park Happenings will be released shortly. 




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