A FAMILY have unearthed 250 years of history after excavating a site which played a key role in Worcester porcelain production dating back to the 18th century.

Josephine and Christopher Evans, of Bridge Farm, near Shrawley, spent the summer excavating the banks of the Dick Brook, which runs close to their 500-year-old property.

As previously reported in your Worcester News, the brook rose 15 feet during the 2007 floods causing severe damage to Bridge Farm, which sits in the 600-acre Astley Estate.

This summer, with the help of the Shrawley Historical Society and archaeological experts, Mr and Mrs Evans excavated half an acre of land on the bank of the brook and discovered a pandora’s box of historical atrefacts.

They have found the remains of buildings, tunnels, water wheels and furnaces, which all played a key role in the Worcester porcelain industry.

Dr John Wall was one of the first men in Europe to discover the method of making porcelain and he set up the site in Shrawley in the 1700s to crush stone and broken bits of china before sending them down the brook to the porcelain factory in Severn Street, Worcester.

Mrs Evans, aged 65, said they will soon be filling in the hole to ensure the site is preserved.

She said: “It is a very important historical site in Worcestershire.

“I don’t think we will have another flood for 80 years but you just never know.

“It would be such a shame if it all got washed away so that’s why we have decided to fill it in.

“It is all going to be left for somebody else to come along in 50 years’ time and discover it all over again.

“People of that generation will then be able to find out what went on here.

“Back in the 1700s there must have been a hive of activity on this brook but where all the people who worked here came from and lived remains a mystery.”

County porcelain expert Henry Sandon MBE, who visited the site, said: “I have known about this site all my life but to actually see it uncovered is absolutely marvellous. It was extremely exciting.

“The amount of work this team has done is fantastic. Who would have thought this tiny stream in the wilds of Worcestershire would have seen so much important work going on.”

Mrs Evans said they did not want the site to become a National Heritage site as certain restrictions would be imposed.

She said: “We don’t want to lose control over the site and we would rather keep the knowledge locally rather than nationally.”