A COUNTRY estate is to undertake North Yorkshire’s largest ever archaeological survey of the grounds of a stately home in the hope of uncovering prehistoric or Roman finds.

Kiplin Hall, between Scorton and Northallerton, has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £53,100 to conduct the survey within what remains of the site which covered more than 5,000 acres in the late 19th century.

The year-long project, called Charting Chipeling, the Archaeology of the Kiplin Estate, will be overseen by a professional archaeologist and is programmed to start immediately, with the major part of the work being completed by autumn 2014.

A team of volunteers will be recruited to aid the work of the excavators on the now 150-acre site.

An exhibition based on the work and results of the survey is planned for the 2015 season, and the project has already attracted interest from archaeology experts from the US, Croatia and Serbia.

Kiplin Hall curator Dawn Webster said: “We are delighted that HLF is supporting this very exciting project.

“Kiplin’s estate grew to a considerable size during the 18th and 19th centuries, and research will hopefully uncover more information about the history of these local landscapes.

“Detailed investigation and excavation of selected sections of the surviving estate may yield further clues to the changes which took place through the centuries.

“We are looking forward to welcoming new volunteers to help with the project.”

The Kiplin Estate sits within an area rich in prehistoric and Roman archaeological sites, and the parish of Kiplin was already a settlement by the time of the Norman Conquest, and it is the 11th century name of Chipeling, recorded in the Domesday Book.