Greenwich Grand Ascent

The current project at Greenwich has been the investigation of the Grand Ascent, the slope below the General Wolfe statue. A consistent clay layer under the topsoil was found across the whole Ascent and believed to be Victorian in date. Where investigations continued below the clay, bands of loose gravel and probable buried turflines were found. At the base of the sequence, a full layer of rubble and tile was recorded.

Some of the more interesting finds, apart from ring pulls, bottle tops and nails, included a Charles II farthing (?), an 1860s halfpenny, a Royal Engineers (early 20th century) cap badge and an eye piece from a sextant.

A model of the slope, created by Pete Barry, can be found on Sketchfab, and for more detail on the excavation itself visit the Greenwich Park website.

The excavation has also been featured in a Guardian article – Wild beasts and Charles II: amateur army digs for history in British parks and gardens.

photo R. Smalley
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