Archaeologists are conducting a seek for the legendary elephant beast from the Bostock and Wombwell’s menagerie travelling ‘beast present’.
Menageries that includes wild and unique animals have been a modern type of leisure all through the Victorian period and early twentieth century. The animals have been imported to the UK to affix animal exhibitions, performing circus acts, and travelling reveals.
Dr Steve Ward, Circus Historian, mentioned: “Through the nineteenth century, the fascination with the pure world allowed each travelling and static menageries to flourish. Individuals wished to expertise unique and unusual animals. Seeing these creatures was seen as academic, certainly the federal government actively inspired households to take their kids. However merely viewing them was not sufficient; the general public additionally wished to be entertained. In some menageries, animal keepers started to carry out tips with their beasts, particularly with the massive carnivores and elephants.”
The Bostock and Wombwell menagerie travelled the nation and boasted a “magnificent zoological assortment – too quite a few to element”. Bostock and Wombwell’s Menagerie confirmed for the final time on the Outdated Sheep Market in Newcastle on December 1931 with lots of their animals ending their days in zoos and museums throughout the nation.
As a part of South Gloucestershire Council’s Kingswood regeneration venture, archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology have been commissioned to conduct a geophysical survey to see if they’ll find the fabled burial web site of the elephant that died in 1891 within the space of Whitefield’s Tabernacle or Holy Trinity Church in Kingswood, South Gloucestershire.
Alan Bryant, Curator at Kingswood Museum, mentioned: “I first heard in regards to the Kingswood elephant burial within the Nineteen Seventies once I was doing my rounds as an area milkman. Since then, I’ve had numerous conversations and debates with native folks about it. I keep in mind a brand new mains sewer pipe was put in within the Nineteen Eighties and I made some extent of taking a look to see if there have been any anomalies within the floor. Alas, nothing to report however I for one am delighted on the potential of discovering the legendary Kingswood Elephant burial.”
Lorrain Higbee, Zooarchaeologist at Wessex Archaeology, mentioned: “This preliminary archaeological investigation goals to find the elephant burial however ought to we achieve this, you might be stunned at what we may study in regards to the lifetime of this animal from finding out its skeletal stays.”
“Within the case of a menagerie elephant, in addition to understanding the place the animal got here from and its age, we could possibly see the affect of its life as an entertainer, this may occasionally embody proof of confinement together with trauma from shackling the animal or arthritis. It could even be potential to detect accidents or strains ensuing from its efficiency duties, comparable to repetitive actions,” added Higbee.