New Community Dig Begins at Fulham Palace

Aiming to reintroduce plants grown by Bishop Compton in late 17th century


The palace says following the success of last year’s excavation, its committed team of archaeological volunteers are digging two trenches to the south-east of the walled garden.

Named in honour of Bishop Compton, who was Bishop of London from 1675 till 1713 and is buried in nearby All Saints Churchyard, the objective of the project is to create new beds for plants, shrubs and trees which have been identified as grown here by Compton, who was also well noted botanist between the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

This period was a particularly ground-breaking time in garden history as new species of plants arrived from the colonies and the first attempts were being made to grow them in Europe.

Painstaking research has been undertaken by the Fulham Palace gardening team in conjunction with forensic botanist Mark Spencer to discover and identify Compton's historical specimens.

The palace says re-introducing these species to our grounds will continue to develop our Garden, which Sir William Watson described in 1751 as the 'greatest variety of curious exotic plants and trees that had at any time been collected in any garden in England'.

Archaeologically, this a particularly interesting area of the site, which has previously produced evidence for Late Mesolithic to Early Neolithic activity as well as pottery and material dating to the late Roman period.


The Palace is holding a series of events in the next week where it will share its discovery of the Palace's hidden history on:

Sunday 21 October, 1pm – 3pm

Hands-on Archaeology: Cultivating Compton Community Dig

Wednesday 24 October, 11am – 3pm

Family Activity Day: Astonishing Archaeology

Wednesday 24 October, 2pm – 2.30pm

Ask the Archaeologist: Cultivating Compton Community Dig

Thursday 25 October, 2pm – 2.30pm

Ask the Archaeologist: Cultivating Compton Community Dig

You can see more details about these events here.

You can read more about archaeology at the Palace here.

October 17, 2018