Enfield Archaeological Society (EAS) discovered the foundations of a blacksmith's workshop when members returned for a dig at the site of historical Elsyng Palace at the weekend.

The society was continuing its investigation into the Tudor site, opposite Jesus Church in Forty Hill, when members came across evidence of a blacksmith's forge complete with black ash and a brick floor.

Dr Martin Dearne, EAS archaeologist, said he thought the workshop would have been used to repair guards' weaponry and armour, as well as shoeing horses.

Dr Dearne said: "It is very interesting as it's the sort of mundane aspects of royalty support structure we often don't find evidence of.

"It won't have been spectacularly well built, unlike the King's lodgings, but we are very excited that we have found evidence of how the everyday life of the palace was run."

Archaeologists had expected to find a guardhouse on the site during the two-day dig.

Although works are on-going to find out as much about the layout of the palace, as possible it is believed the building would have been based on traditional Tudor lines, set on a moated site, with a main entrance, drawbridge and gatehouse.

Elsyng Palace was originally a moated manor house developed by Sir John Lovell and taken over by Henry VIII.

Enfield Archaeological Society is carrying out work on the site in partnership with Enfield Council with the sanction of English Heritage.

The society will return to the site in July to celebrate National Archaeological Day.