THE SEARCH for a legendary medieval hospital built by the Knights Templar will resume this weekend as archaeology enthusiasts get to work in a Marlow park.
On Saturday and Sunday, members of Marlow Archaeological Society will re-open the dig in Rookery Park, which last year uncovered evidence of a building dating back to the 17th century.
The history hunters made the discovery of a cellar dating back to around 1660 while looking for the remains of a farmhouse built a hundred years later.
A hospital constructed by the knights after the medieval crusades in the 14th century is rumoured to lie somewhere in Marlow.
And with no record of a building on the Rookery Park dig site from before 1770s, members hope they can start answer some of the burning questions raised by their dig last year.
Society member Doug Courtney said: “We are trying to get further with this older building that no one was expecting to find.
“We are trying to get dating information, what we have found we have dated approximately, but we want to find the rest of the cellar.
“Unfortunately, the new cycle path in the park has destroyed much of the evidence. But it could be quite interesting bearing in mind the Knights Templar hospital that could be in the area. Wouldn’t it be great if we found it?”
Mr Courtney said the group hopes to carry out more work elsewhere in the park, with surveys set to be carried out in the near future.
And members are urging new volunteers to get it on the act over the bank holiday weekend for just a £3 day membership for insurance reasons.
He said: “We are keen to encourage new members to grab a trowel and have a go – they don’t need to have experience.
“Anyone can come along, get down on their hands and knees and start digging with the rest of us. Most of the remains are only a few inches below the ground.”
in Bucks Free Press, by Peter Grant