Heatwave drought reveals ghostly remains from WWII in stately home’s garden

This week’s record-shattering heatwave revealed a piece of history dating back to World War II at a park in the East Midlands.

As the grass on the former stately home estate baked from its usual green to beige, the foundations of buildings erected during the WWII could be very clearly seen.

These days, the Orangery is the only building at Markeaton Park that is still standing from the original stately home estate.

However, over the years, the site has seen many other buildings constructed and then taken down, leaving only some evidence on the ground to show where they used to be.

For example, there was the WWII encampment that would house people whose homes had been bombed as well as the regiment that looked after the city

This encampment was known as Garden City. Without a detailed map showing where all the buildings used to be, it will never be known for definite what buildings these imprints belonged to.

This week, it was possible to see where the main hall would have once stood, adjacent to the orangery, at the top of three rectangles.

The Royal Artillery barracks that were built on Markeaton Park consisted of red brick buildings that were built on the site that was the former pitch and putt golf course, close to where the old Markeaton Hall would have been located.

The camp also featured officers’ quarters – close to where the old mansion house used to stand -, a men’s quarters and the Sergeants’ mess barracks.

There was also the Cook House which had outdoor ovens, while the area where the temporary houses would once have been was also visible this week.

Temperatures in Derbyshire reached 36.9C at its hottest earlier in the week.

The unprecedented bout of warm weather caused many issues such as melting roads and dry-grass fires.

Yesterday (July 22), scientists warned that summer temperatures are set to hit 40C more often if efforts to tackle greenhouse gases are not stepped up.

Global warming caused by man-made greenhouse gases will mean extreme heatwaves could become 30% more frequent by 2050, researchers said.

This week, temperatures reached 40C (104F) for the first time on record in the UK.

London Heathrow provisionally recorded 40.2C (107F) at 12.50pm on Tuesday, the Met Office said.

Parts of England and Wales were placed under a red warning for extreme heat and Brits were warned the weather posed a danger to life, pressure on the NHS and disruption across transport networks.

The abnormal weather is fuelled by climate change, which is making every heatwave more intense, frequent and likely, scientists say.

The new high for daytime temperatures comes after the UK experienced its warmest night on record on Monday, with temperatures remaining in the mid-20s.