AN ARCHEOLOGICAL dig at a mansion near Wem has finished for this year and has discovered more secrets at the manor.

The team from Dig Ventures a social enterprise organising archaeological digs in Soulton Hall and concluded this year's dig in the manor, which is a known place of mystery, on Sunday, June 11.

Dig Ventures has been excavating on the site for a lost castle dating from the 1100s which was found on the site last year.


Soulton Hall owner Tim Ashton spoke about future plans.

He said: "There is more to do. We don't know if we'll dig next year.

"We might have a rest and look at what happens next with the excavation."

Mr Ashton spoke about what had been discovered by Dig Ventures.

He explained: "We know pretty much the size of the mound from the 1100s to the 1400s.

"We have a good sense of the period of time it was bused and hope it was used.

"Rather like Hopton Castle in the south of Shropshire, it was a small chivalric high-status house castle."

Mr Ashton spoke about the history of the manor, which was founded in the 16th century by Sir Rowland Hill, during the Tudor Period.

He said: "This year more attention was paid to the 16th-century garden phase linked to Sir Rowland Hill's building of Soulton Hall.

"It is providing support to the idea that pageantry and performance were part of the design scheme for the house."

The Soulton Hall owner spoke about the links between the manor and William Shakespeare.

"Sir Rowland Hill is operating at an elite level of statecraft nationally," Mr Ashton explained.

"He is translating the Bible and affecting the country's religion nationally.

"At his house and headquarters in Shropshire, another thing he is doing is acting as a cultural figure.

"He is commissioning art and creating a space for it to happen.

"That work is important and Shakespeare must know of it partly because he quotes the Bible 1,000 times.

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"It has got Rowland Hill's name on the front of it."

Mr Ashton spoke about why he feels it is important for the area to know about its heritage.

He explained: "This heritage is everybody's and we are shared guardians of it.

"It has the ability if we manage it well to create a lot of opportunities for businesses.

"Heritage regeneration can help tourism and hospitality businesses."

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