Discover history as it’s unearthed at Shrewsbury Castle's archaeology dig for 2020
Join the dig team at one of Shrewsbury’s must see attractions and see thousands of years of history uncovered during the second archaeological dig.
The 2020 dig will build on the success and answer questions that arose from last year’s project – the first of its kind at Shrewsbury Castle. This year the team will excavate a trench on the grassed slope of the western rampart overlooking the drive close to the Great Hall.
You will be able to visit Shrewsbury Castle during normal opening hours to witness the dig, speak with the team and explore the stunning Castle grounds. COVID-19 safety measures are in place at the Castle so you can enjoy your visit safely and relax.
The dig will take place for three weeks from 1 – 18 September and is funded by the Castle Studies Trust. It is a partnership project including Shropshire Council and University Centre Shrewsbury.
2019 dig – What did we learn?
When Shrewsbury Castle was built it was extremely strongly fortified to a degree not previously understood. The Norman motte (the great earth mound) was originally surrounded by a massive defensive ditch which filled up to two-thirds of the lawn in front of the Castle that we see today.
We also learned that there was an Anglo-Saxon presence on the site of the castle even before the Normans invaded in 1066.
Immense damage was caused to the medieval castle remain by Thomas Telford during his ‘restoration’ of 1786-1790 for the then MP of Shrewsbury.
Two arrow heads or crossbow-bolt heads were also discovered. Both of these were ‘bodkin’ type arrows: sharp, square-edged heavy points designed to pierce armour. These arrows were clearly for military use and not for hunting.