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Expert hopes to find Civil War evidence in dig

An archaeologist overseeing a dig at 13th Century castle said he hoped to find military weapons from it’s English Civil Wars era.

The excavation at Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire, began on Saturday, run by Wychavon District Council and Dig Hartlebury.

It follows a dig in 2023 which uncovered the location of a civil wars bastion within the castle grounds.

“I’d be delighted to find a cannonball, or a piece of grenade, something like that,” said archaeologist Tim Cornah.

The work comes after Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service flew a drone over the castle in July 2022 and discovered crop marks for the bastion.

The team has been digging in a ditch which they believe surrounds a “substantial” triangular gun emplacement.

“It would be lovely to get to the bottom to see if we could find some evidence of this cannon emplacement in use, during the civil war in the 1640s,” said Mr Cornah.

“What we’re likely to find is things like pottery, bits of animal bone, waste really.”

A woman pushing a wheelbarrow full of dirt

A ditch has been dug by the team at the site as they search for evidence (BBC)

The castle, which was the home of the bishops of Worcester for centuries, had a garrison of 120 soldiers based there during the English Civil Wars.

“This is the Bishop of Worcester’s palace and it looks like a palace physically but in the past it, looked a lot more like a castle,” Mr Cornah added.

“The minute you find substantial earthen gun emplacements, it takes you back to a war setting for this site.

“For me, it really swings it onto its head and makes the place look completely different to how it does today.”

Hartlebury Castle

The castle was the home of the bishops of Worcester for centuries (BBC)

Wychavon residents were offered the opportunity to volunteer to support the professional archaeologists on site and schools from the area were also taking part.

The week-long dig ends on Saturday.

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