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Cedars Park Cheshunt

Croxson, Nick Cedars Park Cheshunt. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Oxford Archaeology (OA) have been commissioned by Broxbourne Borough Council to undertake an archaeological investigation into Cedars Park,Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. The main aim of this report is to increase the overall understanding of the site and its archaeological potential in order to assist in the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan. This is intended to inform Broxbourne Borough Council in the development of key plans and tasks to underpin a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Lottery Parks for People Bid for Cedars Park in 2008. Cedars Park is a 30-acre popular and well-maintained park with two distinct facets: it is an important local resource which is well used and is popular for its facilities, open space, varied habitats, and developing event programme, and it is also the site of a magnificent 16th-century manor house, later to become a royal place known as Theobalds. Theobalds Palace was originally built by Sir William Cecil between 1564 and 1585, and it was frequently used by Elizabeth I until her death in 1603. In 1607 it became a Royal Palace proper when James I decided to exchange it with Cecil’s son Robert for the nearby Royal Manor of Hatfield. James died at Theobalds in 1625 and Charles I owned the palace until his execution in 1649. At this time Theobalds was listed amongst other royal properties for disposal by the Commonwealth and by 1650 was partly or largely demolished. Due to these close links with Royalty, Theobalds Palace is of great historical significance. It is also of archaeological significance in that it was believed by Sir John Summerson (one of the leading architectural historians of the 20th century) to have been one of the most important architectural achievements of the Elizabethan period. This investigation comprises three main elements: historical desk based research, geophysical survey, and building assessment/recording. These stages have followed on chronologically from each other and the results of each element has informed the other stages of the project. This work has largely confirmed the current understanding on the former layout of Theobalds Palace. However it has also has been possible to outline the various phases of occupation on the site now encompassed by Cedars Park. There is little in the way of above-ground archaeological remains, particularly from the primary palace structure, however there is great potential for buried remains. A geophysics survey carried out as part of this investigation has provided some insight into sub-surface features, although it has been of limited value in confirming which, if any, of the original palace walls survive below ground. Further geophysics however, using alternative techniques, could be targeted on specific areas which hold some potential for good results. In addition to this it is worth noting that certain areas hold high potential for valuable trial trenching, evaluation, and research digs, should this be approved by English Heritage. It is recommended that due to the potential presence of below ground archaeology in certain areas of the park, that any future intrusive ground works be archaeologically monitored.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Hertfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:1679
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:21 May 2014 10:35
Last Modified:22 Aug 2014 15:25

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