Monument Field at Prior Park has been giving up its secrets in a four day geophysics investigation involving BACAS and National Trust volunteers. A central area of the field was covered by resistivity and magnetometry to search for evidence of Ralph Allen’s Monument, built 1764 by Bishop Warburton following Allen’s death and an earlier Gothic Lodge that seems to have formed part of the later monument. To take the story of the field back a further 1000 years or so, the Wansdyke is shown on early maps passing by the site of these other structures so there was lots to find !
A first look at the results is encouraging. The area where the Monument and Lodge are thought to have been show significantly in the data and the possible route of the Wansdyke matches up with a recent LIDAR survey of the area by the National Trust with the bank and ditch clearly visible. Further analysis of the results with ground profiles of the Wansdyke may provide more detailed information.