Digging deep to find out castle’s secrets

Conisbrough Castle archaelogical dig

Conisbrough Castle archaelogical dig

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An archaeological dig to uncover the 11th century secrets of historic Conisbrough Castle has got under way.

A team of staff and volunteers is hoping to solve some unanswered questions from the site’s past after embarking on a two-week long dig at the English Heritage site.

Conisbrough Castle archaelogical dig   Martin Happs

Conisbrough Castle archaelogical dig Martin Happs

The excavation is part of an ongoing research project and will focus on finding evidence on 11th century occupation.

Archaeology has been reported at the castle since the mid-19th century but excavations in the 1960s and 70s were poorly documented, leaving more questions than answers.

The work conducted in this dig is seeking to solve those mysteries about the site’s early life.

Kevin Booth, senior curator of English Heritage North, said: “Conisbrough has such a long and rich history, so we are excited about this project and what we will potentially unearth.

Conisbrough Castle archaelogical dig   Catherine Seymour

Conisbrough Castle archaelogical dig Catherine Seymour

“English Heritage aims to bring the story of history to life for visitors and work like this is vital for us to unpick the past and tell that story accurately.

“We hope that as many people as possible will come along during the dig to experience this unique opportunity and see what we’ve found.”

In 2014 evidence of a major ditch cutting across the promontory was discovered. By revisiting the area the team will attempt to determine its purpose and date, as well as looking for evidence of an early earthen bank pre-dating the stone curtain wall.

The work is being led by a professional archaeologist with the support of English Heritage curators and a team of local volunteers who are giving their time to get their hands dirty and assist in the quest.

Conisbrough Castle archaelogical dig   John Bugden, Eden Ward age 7, Paisley Davidson age 6, Honey Akam age 6 from Tranmoor Primary Armthorpe

Conisbrough Castle archaelogical dig John Bugden, Eden Ward age 7, Paisley Davidson age 6, Honey Akam age 6 from Tranmoor Primary Armthorpe

Visitors to the site will have the opportunity to watch the team at work throughout the dig, chat to those involved in the project and find out about the discoveries they have unearthed along the way.

The Conisbrough Castle Dig will be taking place every day until September 24 from 11am-5pm. Admission to the Castle is £4.80 for adults, £2.90 for children and free entry for English Heritage Members.

n Further information about Conisbrough Castle and the excavation work can be found at Conisbrough Castle