History lovers are being invited to help archaeologists unearth a long-lost Tudor garden and banqueting house at Sudeley Castle.

A two-week excavation is set to take place in the grounds of the Cotswold castle in May, to further explore a site which experts believe could reveal one of England’s last surviving Tudor gardens – hidden in the castle grounds for nearly 300 years.

Initial findings at the site in October included fragments of post-medieval pottery, masonry and animal bones, consistent with garden archaeology.

Further explorations of a mound, discovered in the middle of the field, could now confirm that it was once the site of a temporary banqueting house and the location of a huge celebration by Elizabeth I as part of her progress around the country to mark her victory over the Spanish Armada.

Members of the public are now being invited to join a team of archaeologists from social enterprise company, DigVentures, for the excavation in May, and help uncover more of the site’s secrets.

“Finding an intact Tudor garden is an astonishingly rare occurrence,” said Sudeley Castle’s general manager, Wendy Walton.

“Bringing it back to the surface would be an amazing achievement and gives us the chance to find out what it would have been like in the days when Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I and Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife, walked its pathways,” she added.

Lisa Westcott Wilkins, from DigVentures, added: “This buried garden is believed to be one of England’s last surviving Tudor gardens. Most were destroyed in the 18th and 19th centuries when a popular landscaping craze swept the country. We think it is one of perhaps only two in the whole country where the original paths are still in place.”

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The DigVentures team has launched a crowdfunding campaign, inviting Tudor history lovers around the world to help fund the investigation. Find out more at digventures.com/projects/sudeley-castle

The effort is being supported by historian and author Philippa Gregroy, who will be visiting Sudeley Castle in May to give a talk to its crowd-funders, which can also be watched online.

“There’s a tremendous amount of history in the ground there, which no one has seen since it was buried,” Philippa said. I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait to see what gets found.

Crowdfunders will be able to choose whether they want to watch the discoveries online through a series of live broadcasts, or get hands-on and spend a day digging with archaeologists, learning how to excavate, interpret finds and make Tudor discoveries of their own.