ARCHAEOLOGISTS are hoping to cast light on Bolton’s fascinating past as they start a dig at the historic Hulton Park.

Salford Archaeology, from the University of Salford, is to start a trenching programme in different areas of the park where archaeological remains are thought to exist.

The investigations will establish the presence or absence of buried prehistoric remains and late 18th and 19th century buildings, including the two former Hulton Halls, which stood at the heart of the Grade II Registered Park and Garden.

Planning chiefs gave property giants Peel Holdings the go-ahead in March to transform historic Hulton Park into a Ryder Cup golf course by just one vote.

Dr Alex Mitchell, Peel Group Archivist, said: “These investigations, alongside the Hulton Archive, will give us a clearer window on Hulton Park’s past.

“We hope to uncover some interesting remains particularly relating to the foundations of the former Hulton Halls.

“The archaeology team will be reporting the initial investigations later in the year and if the opportunity exists, we will endeavour to involve the community.

“This could provide volunteering and learning opportunities for local people, enabling interaction with local heritage. We want to reassure the local community that this work is to inform the future restoration of the Park and is not the start of any development.”

John Roberts, Senior Archaeologist at Salford Archaeology, added: “The investigations will provide further information to evaluate the below-ground heritage assets, as identified in our desktop and geophysical survey work.

“We will be looking at whether assets are present or absent, their state of preservation, integrity and quality, their character and date.

“This should allow a community archaeology project to be designed and will inform the detailed designs and mitigation for the park’s restoration.”

Archaeologists uncovered a wealth of history when they investigated at Cutacre in 2015.

Excavation of the site revealed activity at the site, ranging from prehistoric round house, medieval ironworking and more modern coal mining.

The area has been developed to create the Logistics North site, a £200 million industrial and retail estate which will offer around four million sq foot of distribution and manufacturing space.