Nov 14 2008 by Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo
We?ve found Gladstone
THE heritage of Liverpool?s famous Gladstone family was uncovered in a Time Team-style investigation.
The Gladstone Roots Project was officially opened at Court Hey Park in Huyton this week.
Its unique lottery-funded archaeological inquiry explored the heritage of the Gladstone family in the park by excavating the site of a Victorian mansion house.
The grand mansion belonging to Robertson Gladstone, the elder brother of four-times Victorian prime minister William Gladstone, stood on a site close to the National Wildflower Centre.
It was demolished in the 1950s and the project team wants to rebuild a small section of the footprint of the original building to remind people about the park?s historical heritage and create a visitor attraction.
Knowsley mayor Michael Foulkes officially opened the site to the public, alongside the Friends of Court Hey Park, other dignitaries and schoolchildren who helped with the ?dig?.
Dave Roberts, a member of the Friends of Court Hey Park, said: ?This exciting project was a great opportunity for people to get involved in an archaeological excavation in their own park.
?It is really exciting to see the results of years of hard work finally come to this stage.?
Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley council?s cabinet member for leisure, said: ?This unique project has provided both a lasting historical interpretation of the house which once stood here and an important education resource for our schools and young people.
?The legacy left by this project will be a further asset to our award-winning green flag park.?
The Heritage Lottery Fund helped finance the two-year project.
A record of events and an exhibition of artefacts relating to the initiative, including household objects, pottery and coins dating from the Georgian period to the 1960s, will be shown on the project website Gladstone Roots Home Page.
A storyteller has written a specially commissioned story, and items found from the excavation of the mansion site will be on display.