LONG undiscovered secrets could be unearthed by archaeologists carrying out a number of important surveys in Christchurch’s Druitt Gardens.

The unkempt town centre woodland has been the subject of a £500,000 masterplan drawn up by local architect Hilary Martin on behalf of Christchurch Borough Council.

With help from the Druitt Guardians, a group formed to work alongside the council, the proposal to tidy up the overgrown area by planting new trees and creating focal points, gateways and seating areas was given the seal of approval by councillors last year.

And as part of those plans to improve the grounds, which were bestowed upon the town by Charlotte Druitt in 1946, researchers from Bournemouth University’s school of conservation sciences have been undertaking an intense archaeological survey.

It is hoped that features relating to the early development of the town may be revealed during the survey.

Project officer Harry Manley said: “Druitt Gardens is a unique undeveloped area of land in Christchurch that could provide a snapshot into the past.

“There are a lot of question marks over the Saxon origins of this town that could be answered through these studies.”

The team of four has been working on the second stage of the study, the geophysical survey, having studied the rich history of the area, in the lead-up to the survey.

The third stage of the study, if required, is extracting any items from the ground.

Any findings by the Bournemouth Archaeology team will be presented to the council later this year.

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