THE industrial past of one of Worcester’s most popular parks is set to be uncovered when archaeologists set out to dig up the remains of a clay pipe factory.

From Monday to Friday (September 16-20) a team will be onsite at the Green Flag-winning Cripplegate Park, digging to unearth the kiln where the Russell Pipe Manufactory produced smoking pipes for more than 50 years.

Visitors will be able to watch the team in action during the week between 10am and 3pm and on Saturday (September 21) when they can see some of the team’s finds and listen to talks.

Sheena Payne-Lunn, Historic Environment Record Officer at the council, said: "Worcester’s ceramics and glove-making industries are very well known but fewer people realise that our city was also a centre for pipe-making, attracting specialist pipe-makers from across the country."

Pipes were made in the city from the 17th to the 19th centuries by at least three manufacturers, the largest of which was the Cripplegate works.

Ms Payne-Lunn went on to say people across the country smoked Russell pipes while Worcester residents may have found remains in their gardens.

John Russell is believed to have built a row of 20 houses, the Russell Terrace, that extended into what is now Cripplegate Park, where many of the kiln’s workers lived.

"Thanks to historic maps we know exactly where the kiln was located, close to the children’s play area and the Sons of Rest pavilion," said Ms Payne-Lunn.

"This dig will help us rediscover a largely forgotten part of Worcester’s history."