LOCAL history enthusiasts near Selby have welcomed their MP on a visit to their latest archaeological dig.

Members of the Cawood Castle Garth Group are hard at work on a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded project, which includes a investigations at the Keesbury Manor Cawood.

Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams went to the site last week, and was shown round by group member Margaret Brearley and archaeologist Dr John Kenny.

He said: "It was fantastic to see so many volunteers involved in unearthing Cawood's history. The team has done a great job in securing lottery funding for the project and I am confident we will all learn far more about Cawood and its past as a result."

Keesbury Manor is believed to be the site of a medieval house owned by the eminent de Cawood family - whose most famous member was John Cawood, printer to Elizabeth I.

The Cawood group's project is investigating the history and archaeology of the site including gooseberry growing - Keesbury was in recent times known as “The Gooseberries” because of the numbers of bushes grown there.

Volunteers and children from the village school have all been involved, and the archaeological project has seen five trenches dug on the site.

So far, medieval pottery, wood, the remains of what could be a wicker fence in the moat, the remains of a post hole and pieces of brick and tile have all been found.

The dig will continue until the end of September and more volunteers are welcome. Information is online at www.cawoodheritage.org.uk