View of the Open Day by Victoria Grant, Manchester Museum

Visitors to Whitworth Park enjoyed a special peak into the park’s past on Saturday.

A variety of activities were organised to celebrate the park and the recent excavation being done by Manchester University students and experts to uncover the social and natural history of the park. 

Activities included guided tours of the excavation site, an opportunity to see images and maps indicating how the park has changed over time, mini digs for children to experience archaeology for themselves, and object handling.  One family arrived equipped with their own trowels for excavating.

Visitors had the opportunity to see and touch some artefacts that had been excavated only days before.  These objects included a variety of Victorian artefacts which ranged from ceramic fragments, to jam jars shards, pipes, marbles, buttons and evidence of the game knuckle bones. 

A selection of The Manchester Museum’s collections were also on display which included animals that might be found in the park such as a bat, mole and magpie; and more complete examples of the kinds of objects that have been found in the dig such as pipes and Codd glass bottle with marble stopper.

Objects and pictures were triggering lots of memories and people were encouraged to share their memories of the park with The Manchester Museum’s Youth Board, who recorded oral histories.

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