Comedian Hugh Dennis to reveal Studley Roger’s secrets on TV this week
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Last updated Jun 19, 2023
Photo of comedian Hugh Dennis, presenter of The Great British Dig, with the show's resident archaeology experts in Studley Royal deer park, where they were examining the remains of a lost mansion.

Comedian and presenter Hugh Dennis will be on TV revealing the archaeological secrets of a lost mansion at Studley Royal on Thursday (June 22). 

The Great British Dig episode, which was filmed over five days last September in the deer park next to Fountains Abbey, follows the show’s resident experts as they learn more about a mansion that stood there until 1946, when it burned down.  

The gutted house was demolished, and it was only years later, during Storm Arwen in 2021, that a tree on the site of the former mansion was blown down and its roots exposed some interesting masonry. 

The episode Studley Royal – the Missing Georgian Mansion will be aired for the first time on Thursday, June 22 at 9pm on More 4. 

Mark Newman, National Trust archaeologist, said: 

“There has been National Trust archaeological research at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal for 37 years, but no matter how much we discover there always seems to be more to find. It’s a rare and exciting opportunity to have a programme like The Great British Dig getting involved with our archaeological research. Understanding the detailed history of our properties, and the archaeological riches they conceal, is undoubtedly a ‘long game’. 

“The discoveries we made were extremely exciting and moved on our understanding of a number of Studley Royal’s mysteries considerably. We really look forward to them being revealed on air on 22 June, and to further explorations that will no doubt tell us even more.” 

The Studley Royal episode is followed on Thursday, June 29 at 9pm by The Great British Dig at National Trust Cherryburn in Northumberland, The Birthplace of a Celebrity Illustrator. 

The Great British Dig presenter Hugh Dennis, whose father John was Bishop of Knaresborough from 1979 to 1986, said: 

“It was a genuine treat to be able to dig at not just one, but two National Trust properties at Studley Royal and Cherryburn. We unearthed some amazing finds, met some great volunteer staff who were more than happy to get their hands dirty, and ate our fair share of scones too.” 


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