22/07/2019 - Permalink

History set to be uncovered at Shrewsbury Castle excavation

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The the first ever excavation of Shrewsbury Castle is underway and the castle is open for you to visit.

The excavation will run until Friday 2 August 2019 and is part of a wider archaeological project at the castle funded by the Castle Studies Trust, which also included a geophysical survey.

The geophysical survey has already told us there is a large stone structure, possibly with a tower, lying only 16cm below the surface of the lawn outside and parallel to the Great Hall. The trench for the excavation will run directly over this and we hope the excavation will tell us more about this structure.

Shrewsbury Castle will be open throughout the dig (closed 1 August) for you to visit and witness history being discovered before your eyes as we rewrite history.

The dig team will be running free guided tours of Shrewsbury Castle on 27 and 28 July to help you learn of what we already know about the castle’s history.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“This excavation and wider project is of huge value and importance as we look to rewrite the history of Shrewsbury Castle and the town.

“The results of the geophysical survey have already given us crucial insight into the archaeology of the Castle grounds which prove invaluable to the future management of this Grade I listed building.

“The excavation is certainly going to be a rarity and we are lucky to have secured the funding from the Castle Studies Trust, the leadership of Dr Nigel Baker and support from partners like University Centre Shrewsbury. I would strongly encourage you to visit the Castle during this exciting time and witness history being discovered.”

Professor Tim Jenkins, Head of Arts & Humanities at University Centre Shrewsbury, said:

“The excavation at Shrewsbury Castle is a rare opportunity for students to experience working alongside professional archaeologists in a unique setting. We are delighted to be contributing to such a civic project.”

The excavation is a partnership project between Shropshire Council, University Centre Shrewsbury, Shropshire Archives, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery and the Castle Studies Trust.

The project has been led by local independent archaeologist, Dr Nigel Baker.

For more information about the excavation and the wider project, click here.

Shrewsbury Castle is owned and maintained by Shropshire Council.

Castle Studies Trust

The Castle Studies Trust, founded in 2012, is a registered charity (Reg No: 1148165). The Trust awards individual grants of up to £10,000 to promote the understanding of castles in the UK and abroad. So far it has awarded £100,000 of grants to further the understanding of castles. It is funded entirely by donations from the general public.

To learn more about these and previous projects the trust has funded people can visit the Trust’s website: www.castlestudiestrust.org.

Shrewsbury Castle

Shrewsbury Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) and is one of the oldest SAMs in the country. It is also a Grade 1 listed building and was first listed by Historic England in 1953.

The Castle is one of the best-preserved, Conquest-period earthwork castles in England, but is also one of the least well-know. No excavation work has taken place within its current perimeter. It is unusually well preserved because it escaped rebuilding.