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Jubilee celebrations at a magical place'

PUBLISHED: 14:27 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 10:54 12 August 2010

A COUNTRY park on the site of a 12th century manor house is to celebrate an important milestone.

A COUNTRY park on the site of a 12th century manor house is to celebrate an important milestone.

Scadbury Park, in Chislehurst, will mark its silver jubilee with a range of events over the summer months.

It was opened as a nature reserve by the then Mayor of Bromley on April 30 1985.

The first event, organised by the Orpington and District Archaeology Society (ODAS), will be a history walk this Saturday at 2.30pm.

Louisa Allen, manager of the Bromley Field Studies Centre at Scadbury Park said: "The park is a real asset to the community - 300 acres of ancient woodland full of wildlife that is hidden away.

"The moated manor is a truly magical place, you can just imagine what it looked like in Tudor times."

The archaeology society organise digs twice weekly at the site, and have been involved since shortly after the nature reserve.

Janet Clayton, Chairman of ODAS, said: "Researching the history and archaeology of Scadbury is important because it is unusual to be able to investigate a moated manor-house and its estate. At Scadbury, the core of the original estate survives from the 12th century along with the traces of the earliest settlement there.

"It is still possible to see the foundations of the house Queen Elizabeth would have seen when she knighted Sir Thomas Walsingham."

Scadbury Manor was settled on the site in the 12th century, and the foundations of this house and its moat are still visible today.

The 140-hectare estate was bought by Bromley Council in 1983 and turned into the nature reserve that it is today.

As well as the historic tour this Saturday, ODAS have organised an exhibition at Bromley Museum, Church Hill, Orpington from May 28 until June 5, and a Scadbury Manor open weekend, on September 11 - 12.

The Friends of Scadbury have organised another series of walks that will explore the environmental aspects of the park, and Bromley council will hold a formal celebration of the event on June 19.

Booking is essential for the guided ODAS walk. For more information call 01689 862815.

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