Shropshire Star

Time Team archaeologists reveal broadcast dates for dig at Shropshire site

Archaeologists at Time Team have announced when a three-day dig in Shropshire will be broadcast to the world.

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Time Team came to Shropshire

The premiere of the Knights Hospitaller dig in the Halston Hall and Whittington area will be broadcast on YouTube starting on Friday this week.

In true Time Team style the dig took place over three days and each day gets its own broadcast online.

The first day will be broadcast on the TimeTeamOfficial YouTube channel on Friday from 7pm. The second day will be broadcast on Saturday at the same time and the final day from 7pm on Sunday.

Funders of Time Team have already been able to see the shows via the Patreon channel.

Earlier this year archaeologists teased the possible announcement of a major find being unearthed at the dig site.

Last year, Time Team experts - including some familiar names from the cult 1990s Channel 4 programme - descended on Halston Hall and Whittington Castle in the search for a lost community of the Knights Hospitallers.

The Knights Hospitallers were a religious military order linked to the crusades and contemporaries of the fabled Knights Templar warrior monks. They were dedicated to John the Baptist, to provide care for sick, poor, or injured pilgrims to the Holy Land.

John Gater, an expert linked to the 1990s show, is also a part of the online revival of the popular Sunday afternoon teatime hit.

He said it reminded him of a spectacular Time Team discovery from 20 years ago. adding: “And there we found something really special.”

The revived online version of Time Team uses the same frantic three days to find the history of sites.

The site was selected after topping a poll of Time Team fans on Patreon, which is the crowdfunding site used by the archaeologists to pay for the digs.

It came to light thanks to landscape detective work by Professor Stewart Ainsworth. Professor Ainsworth is himself a veteran of the original Time Team show.

Time Team came to Shropshire

The site of the dig was near a chapel in the grounds of Halston Hall, described as a large site full of lumps and bumps. The archaeologists dug test pits, built a dome for all their discoveries and visited re-enactors at nearby Whittington Castle.

Halston boasts one of only two timber-framed churches in Shropshire. Experts believe it was built towards the end of the 15th century.

There is more technology available these days and the team used drones to map the site, and virtual reality and green screens to bring it to life.

Professor Ainsworth said he was “very, very happy” with all the experts available to “understand what is a “really, really confusing site”.

Other Time Team veterans involved in the renewed Time Team include Carenza Lewis the Professor for the Public Understanding of Research at the University of Lincoln, and Helen Geake, an archaeologist and Green Party activist.

Ms Geake is an expert at looking through dusty old documents and she said she was able to find so much information on the history of the site.

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