Site history


In 2003, thanks to funding from the Local Heritage Initiative, Year 7 children from the local Bushfield Middle School compiled the history of the villas that once occupied the site of the of the Secret Garden, through researching maps, plans, documents, photos and carrying out interviews with former residents and others with memories of the site. These children and (on Saturday mornings) members of the community excavated one of the villas – formerly the Stationmaster’s House - under the supervision of a professional archaeologist. 


The site was not of archaeological importance but the excavation was to all intents and purposes conducted as a professional dig, with finds being properly contexted, washed, marked, bagged and quantified following each day's work on site.  The aim was to recover evidence of the old building materials and map the foundations of the villa with its wall divisions.

The ‘footprint’ of the Stationmaster’s villa and its neighbour in the excavation was then marked with bricks reclaimed from the site and a formal garden planted to mark the spot. An interpretation panel of the children’s research and finds was then installed permanently overlooking the site.  An exhibition telling the story of the site was also produced



For more fascinating information about the history of the villas, visit Brian Dunleavy's wonderful blog Wolverton Past - history before 1960


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