I walked past this last night and to my shame didn’t take any notice -I got so used to seeing orange tape during the Olympics I lost the urge to be curious.
Consider me severely rapped on the insubstantial knuckles as this is actually interesting. Paul tells me it’s an archeological dig, up near what’s left of Queen Elizabeth’s Oak. They’re looking for this:
The old Keepers Cottage was built around the same time as the observatory, and is shown on a map of 1695. It was surrounded by an orchard and looks to have been pretty substantial, which feels a bit odd given how empty of dwellings (other than the observatory) the centre of the park is.
There was an offical keeper which was a grace-and-favour post (I seem to remember Princess Caroline was Ranger for a while; can’t see her stomping around in boots clipping teenage scrumpers round the ear…) and the guy who did the actual clipping round the ear of small boys nicking apples. He lived in this cottage. If memory serves the ranger got something somewhat grander.
Paul tells me there was a ground survey here a couple of years ago and archeologists are now digging around four holes. He says they’re very friendly people so do go and have a chat…
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