Blog: Geophysics results at Shrewsbury Castle
“Last week saw the arrival of the eagerly-awaited report from Tiger Geo on their ground- penetrating-radar and resistivity survey of the inner bailey of Shrewsbury Castle – and the results lived up to all expectations.
“The biggest anomaly detected lies just inches under the lawn right across from and parallel to the standing ‘Great Hall’ housing the Regimental Museum. A large spread of what appears to be walls buried by rubble, and possibly even a square tower, is the target of our excavation trench, commencing next week (22 July 2019): what it is, of course remains to be seen. A ground-floor hall of Henry II? Thomas Telford’s masons’ yard from his restoration campaign of the 1790s? By the end of July, we’ll have found out…
“Other fascinating targets are visible too but will have to await investigation by archaeologists in future years. For example, the motte appears to have had a ditch around its base that seems to have been infilled with rubble.
“Most intriguing of all is what appears to be a stone building with very deeply-founded walls, buried under the re-profiled western rampart, on a site that has been suggested in the past to be that of the medieval castle chapel of St Michael. Recorded in Domesday Book, this was ruined and roofless by the 16th century. But this is also the spot where the likely pre-Conquest defences meet the Norman castle perimeter; not only that but St Michael’s was almost certainly a pre-Conquest royal foundation. So it’s possible that, one day, excavation may locate the equivalent of St Michael Northgate in Oxford here in Shrewsbury, encapsulated in the Norman Castle.”
Here, Nigel discusses the results of the survey and how you can witness history being uncovered at Shrewsbury Castle:
Dr Nigel Baker, lead archaeologist on the excavation
The excavation will take place from Monday 22 July to Friday 2 August 2019 and will be led by local archaeologist Dr Nigel Baker and one of the most experienced archaeologists in the region, David Williams.
The excavation is part of a wider archaeology project funded by the Castle Studies Trust to help us better understand the history of Shrewsbury Castle and the stories it holds within its undiscovered archaeology.
Shrewsbury Castle will be open for the majority of the excavation (closed Thursday 1 August) for you to visit and learn more about the excavation and the Castle from the archaeologists themselves.
The excavation is a partnership project with Shropshire Council, University Centre Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Shropshire Archives and the Castle Studies Trust.
Excavation Open Days
If you’re looking for things to do on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July 2019, visit Shrewsbury Castle for the excavation open days.
As well as witnessing the first ever excavation of the Castle’s inner-bailey being excavated, you will have the chance speak with the archaeologists and volunteers on the dig, enjoy the stunning gardens.
The dig team will also be running free guided tours of the Castle so you can learn more about its’ history and why the excavation is so important.
For more information about the excavation, click here.