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Find of 'national significance' at Shrewsbury Castle dig - with pictures

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A find of 'national significance' has been uncovered at Shrewsbury Castle during a dig which comes to end on Friday.

Archaeologists and history students have been braving the weather to uncover the hidden history of the town and are delighted with whey they have found.

Initially it was thought that beneath the grassed areas of the inner bailey was a stone structure with a possible tower.

But once the dig started last week, it became apparent there was no building and instead archaeologists thought it was a road.

However, on further exploration, they found the road was actually a natural rubble deposit.

But despite this they have found a wide ditch which would have protected the original castle or motte during the Norman Conquest and which they can confidently date back to the rebellion of 1069. Shards of pottery and bone show the ditch was in use for centuries.

The dig at Shrewsbury Castle

Professor Tim Jenkins, head of arts and humanities at University Centre Shrewsbury, said: "We have found thrilling evidence. We are looking at a pit of rubbish that has been thrown away over the years, from pottery and ceramics to bones.

"This is a huge earth work and we are learning all the time about the history of the castle and this part of the town. This dig has been of national significance.

"This shows what we have thought - the town at that time was of 300 dwellings and we know that approximately 100 were demolished to make way for the castle. This is putting context in to the story of Shrewsbury and it has allowed us to see Roger de Montgomery's impact on Shrewsbury.

"The great majority of Shrewsbury's archaeology is underneath the Tudor and Georgian buildings so this dig has been really important. I hope that we have more opportunities like this and it has been great for students to be able to work alongside professional archaeologists. That is quite special."

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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