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Vandals target Oswestry Castle excavation site

By Aimee Jones | Oswestry | Crime | Published:

Vandals have spray-painted Oswestry Castle, which is currently being excavated by a team of archaeologists.

Volunteers Irene Thompson and Graham Cragg working on the Oswestry Castle Community Research Project.

Police say the castle in Arthur Street was vandalised between 3pm on Sunday and 9am on Monday.

The Oswestry Castle Research Project has been awarded a £32,300 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to research the castle's past.

A team of archaeologists and volunteers have been on site, uncovering the castle remains, since September 4.

Roger Cooper, who is leading the project, said vandals had slashed the tent and sprayed a section of the castle with paint.

"Defacing an ancient monument is a crime in itself," he said. "They've sprayed pink paint on a section of the castle. They also slashed through the tent and completely ruined it.

"We do take all of the expensive equipment out at night, but it was completely written off and we've had to buy another which is annoying because it is eating into money that could be used for excavation."

Mr Cooper said a similar incident happened when they were working on a castle project in 2015.

"They took a pick axe and slashed it through the tent so we had to buy another tent then," he added.

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"We've got a key to the gate at the bottom of the mound and we lock it when we leave every day, but it looks like they have got in off the car park at the back of the castle.

"It's frustrating but we've just got to carry on, but it has caused serious disruption to the project."

The team will be on site at the castle until September 22 and visitors are welcome to see the archaeologists at work.

Anyone with information should call the police on 101 and give the incident number 0157s 110917. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

News reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Oswestry office

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