Shrewsbury Castle Dig Diary: Day Six
After five days of blistering sun when the rain came it was torrential. All the diggers were quite quickly soaked but still in good spirits and determined to finish removing the road surface in hope of finding dating material. New arrivals from Nigel’s experienced band of volunteers were at the forefront, with Gillian, Sue and Alan taking on the brunt of finds washing as well as joining the excavation with Norman and Andy, while Will and Morn started processing and bagging finds. When even Tim and Dai seemed to consider stopping, the rain finally quit first, just as we made it to 4pm.
Despite the rain we welcomed nearly 600 public visitors to our first Open Day today! Dig team volunteers from University Centre Shrewsbury have worked with lecturer Morn Capper to prepare displays. Students have used collections at Shrewsbury Museum and Shropshire Archives to gather images through time in order to explore the castle’s history, from the Norman Conquest to the Civil War and up to the present day. Displays also explain how maps, historical documents and geophysical survey have come together in planning the excavation. Events, paintings and photographs from the long history of the castle sparked conversation among visitors, while inspection of the finds and tours by Ian from the Regimental Museum have also proved popular.
The Castle Studies Trust, our major sponsors, were greeted by Nigel Baker with a deluxe tour of the surviving castle buildings and structures before inspecting the excavations. The Castle Studies Trust have supported the dig and the geophysics exploration by Tiger Geo. It is also thanks to their help that reports from the geophysics and the excavation will be quickly completed and made available to guide decisions on the future conservation and uses of this Scheduled Ancient Monument. After a long day, most diggers soon headed home to rest up for our second castle open day on Sunday.
University Centre Shrewsbury volunteers, writing on behalf of all volunteers working on the excavation at Shrewsbury Castle.