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BUDDING archaeologists are helping to uncover the foundations of a mansion near Coggeshall which was demolished more than 60 years ago.

Marks Hall invited history lovers to take part in two community dig days hosted by the Colchester Archaeological Group.

The day, supported by a University of Essex Knowledge Exchange Partnership and the Marks Hall Estate, was held as part of a £75,000 project to uncover the history of the site.

It is being carried out by the university’s history department.

A grant has been awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council to fund the research. Teams of archaeologists on site have already uncovered the foundations of the house as well as those of earlier buildings, including Elizabethan houses, and are hoping to find cellars by next summer when the project ends.

Howard Brooks, assistant director of archaeology at the Colchester Archaeological Trust , said he wants to get lots of people involved in the project.

“The volunteers were helping us to find the building foundations, but these are quite a long way down,” he said. “We are not going to get deep enough for a couple of months.”

Graham Game, from Marks Hall Estate, added: “This is a rare and exciting opportunity for people to get involved with an archaeological dig here in Essex.

“Our mansion site has already revealed different layers of history – lots of drains, a large brick cistern, some foundations and even Saxon and medieval pottery fragments.”

Another dig day is taking place on September 6 as part of the National Archaeology Week. Call 01376 563796 to book a place.