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Some love it, some hate it but the hot weather is here and for historians it’s throwing up some glimpses of buried treasures…

People are likening this year’s drought to the long hot summer of 1976 and while we stifle and can’t sleep, the hot weather is doing a terrific job in giving us a glimpse of historic treasures long since buried.

Scorched fields after seemingly endless hot days have all helped to give us a unique insight into the history beneath our feet.

Clumber House, Nottinghamshire


The popularity of drones is proving very useful in getting aerial shots of such structures as Roman villas, Bronze Age settlements and lost Victorian gardens. Grass and crops growing in top of buried wood and stone structures deteriorate at a different rate than those around them which is why we are seeing outlines under the earth.

One of the most astonishing finds has been the outline of an entire mansion. Clumber House, in the grounds of Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, was built in the 18thCentury and eventually demolished in 1938 after a series of fires and economic downturn. The park is now under the ownership of the National Trust and an aerial shot clearly shows off the floor plan and records can pinpoint rooms including the library, grand hall and state dining room.

Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire


A beautiful Victorian outline is visible in the grounds of Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire, the pathways clearly defined around what once must have been impressive flower beds which the era’s ladies and gentlemen would have promenaded past on summer days such as we are enjoying now.

Henge in County Meath, Ireland

Henge in County Meath     

In County Meath, Ireland, an outline of a henge, a circle of stones or wooden posts, has been found close to other Neolithic monuments on the banks of the River Boyne. And Wales is also enjoying snapshots of the past such as an early medieval cemetery in Gwynedd and a Roman villa in the Vale of Glamorgan.

RAF Lasham, Hampshire


The ghosts of war have reared their heads in Hampshire thanks to drone footage clearly identifying some of the former runways at RAF Lasham, a Second World War airbase. Whilst all quiet now, the site would have once upon a time throbbed to the sound of plane engines based there.


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To find out more about how Portals to the Past can enhance your history teaching call us on 0800 112 3192.