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Your chance to be part of an archaeological project uncovering more of the 1000 years of history at Nottingham Castle and Brewhouse Yard

Siter 2017 Credit - We Dig The Castle

Booking is now open for members of the community to uncover the history of Nottingham Castle and Brewhouse Yard, by being part of this summer’s We Dig the Castle. We Dig the Castle runs from 16 July to 17 August and allows people from all backgrounds, aged 14-plus, to get involved in archaeological investigations uncovering new information about the history and archaeology of the Castle and its medieval site.

Held annually since 2015, We Dig the Castle, Nottingham Castle’s annual training excavation, is a partnership between Historic England, Trent & Peak Archaeology (based in Beeston) and Nottingham City Council. 2018 participants can look forward to a brand new programme that takes We Dig the Castle not only to the medieval castle’s Outer Bailey, but also beyond both the defensive walls and its towering cliff face. We Dig the Castle 2018 will carry out the first archaeological investigation of Brewhouse Yard to take place since the 1970s, searching for evidence of buildings depicted in the earliest maps and developing a new understanding of how this area might have looked in the medieval period. At the gatehouse, on Castle Road, investigations will aim to locate the medieval ditch that ran around the castle walls, while also recording the castle fortifications.


Quote from Ron Inglis, Service Manager (Museums & Galleries), Nottingham City Museums & Galleries Service:

‘This is the fourth season of We Dig the Castle for 2018 and the programme has proved to be really exciting and has revealed areas of Nottingham Castle that we have only previously had glimpses of to date. The programme has revealed the extent of Victorian remodelling of the grounds, which was far more extensive than previously thought, and also a tantalising glimpse of the gardens of the Ducal Palace, as laid out following the Civil War.

This year, we will be moving down to the foot of the Castle to examine the extent of medieval survival of service buildings adjacent to the former course of the river.

We hope to gain a fuller understanding of the medieval environment and context of this great fortress. The We Dig the Castle programme provides a key element of our Museum Service Research Strategy and complements a range of other collaborative programmes. Together, they are yielding far greater understanding than ever before.

I look forward to seeing the picture unfold and I am certain that it will be a fascinating experience for all those taking part.’

we dig 6

Quote from Scott Lomax, Acting City Archaeologist, Nottingham City Council:

‘This year the We Dig the Castle project will help shed new light on the development and use of the castle site and its immediate surroundings. There will be more exciting opportunities, with excavation above ground and in some of the caves, building recording work and plans for geophysical survey to locate the outermost medieval ditch of the castle. It promises to be an exciting project that will reveal more information about the area’s history over a period of almost one thousand years.’


Our exciting new programme for 2018 includes opportunities for trainees to get involved in test-pitting, excavation and recording, augering, post-excavation, finds identification, historic building recording, digitisation and more, carrying out training and hands-on work not only in Nottingham Castle’s Outer Bailey but also in Brewhouse Yard (the site as early as 1217 of royal mills, powered by the Leen) and the historic gatehouse and castle walls.  We Dig the Castle is open to anybody aged 14-plus (ages 14-16 must attend with an adult aged 18-plus), including people who have never done anything like this before, who would like to learn archaeological skills while helping to uncover more of our city’s rich history.


Bookings can be made online at https://yat.digitickets.co.uk/tickets or by telephone on 01904 615505. For more information visit https://www.visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk/whats-on/we-dig-the-castle-2018-p684571.

Posted on 14 March 2018

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