Excavations at Low Grange, Daffodil Park, Billingham, Stockton on Tees
This archaeological excavation was undertaken at Low Grange, Daffodil Park, Billingham, Stockton on Tees in October 2021 as part of the Durham University ‘Belief in the North East’ community archaeology project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The excavation was possible with the help and support of 63 volunteers that took part in the project.
The excavation took place on the site of a farmstead which was demolished in the 1960s, also the former location of the Prior of Durham’s medieval manor house. The site is now known as Daffodil Park and is an open area of grass owned and managed by Stockton on Tees Borough Council.
The open area also contains a series of medieval features. There is a stream running through the middle of the site and to the east of this there is a mill leat and the possible site of a water mill. A breached dam is present in the centre of the site, its partner would have been to the south, subsequently destroyed by housing development. There is an infilled fishpond in the north western part of the site and a deep cutting to the west of the stream, above the line of the dam. This may be part of the fishpond complex, although this may represent a borrow pit for the construction of the dams which is an equally possible explanation. To the west of the stream and to the immediate north of the manor house there are slight traces of ridge and furrow (medieval ploughing) . This area is thought to be part of the manors Park.
A geophysical survey was conducted at the site that showed potential for archaeological deposits to survive. This survey was subsequently followed by the excavation of four trenches across the site. All trenches recovered evidence of buildings. Trenches 1 and 2 contained structures of medieval and later date while trenches 3 and 4 contained only post-medieval structures but a wealth of medieval pottery.
Local people took a great interest in the project and were supportive throughout.
A full report on the excavation can be found here