Good morning, October is nearly done and so is the Thirty-One Days of Time Team Fall Edition. As I plan for next year I am debating whether or not to do two editions of Thirty-One Days of Time or just one. I want to be careful and not oversaturate my readers with a pile of Time Team episodes!
Beneath the scaffolding, there is Codnor Castle and it is undergoing a makeover. Nobody knows exactly what it looked like. However, the castle is getting a facelift so Time Team is in to excavate the castle. For over 500 years the park where the castle has been a site for mining. What has survived beneath the castle? What did the castle look like? The current plan shows what survives and not what the castle looked like in the past. The Time Team will have a challenge on their hands.
Geophysics has no luck in finding mining shafts and they had been working on the castle since dawn. Trench one goes in near the upper court because that is the oldest part of the castle. Two more trenches are put in on the lower court. Phil will investigate the walls of the castle to look for foundations. Matt will examine the castle gates. As the trenches go in on the site, building rubble is found. Stewart looks at the earthworks to figure out what remains from mining and what was a moat. He takes core samples of the area.
Codnor Castle has survived centuries of mining and attempts to take it down. UK Coal, the castle’s owner stepped into stabilizing and preserving the castle. Tony catches up with the lead architect on the site and they talk about preserving the castle. Helen Geake catches up with the expert on castles to talk about what they should find on the site as well plot out a map of the castle. They walk the site to try to layout the castle and the rooms in the castle.
The first bit of dating evidence is found and it is a piece of pottery from the early 18th Century. This was the period just before the castle was in ruins. The castle belonged to the De Grey family and nobody really seems to know when it was built. In 1308 the castle was first mentioned and it described the land the castle was built on and not the castle itself. It is clear that the De Grey family was an important enough family to own a castle.
Matt was expecting to find a path through the gateway but is instead finding a wall. Helen and the castle expert are having trouble dating the site as well. Phil found a piece of pottery from the 15th Century in his wall trench. It is day one and the Time Team found a room in the castle. Even outside the castle, there are some interesting features being discovered. Stewart may have discovered a moat around the site. He seems to hint that there was a moat that went through the lower court. Which would have meant there was a drawbridge on the site and a grander entrance. This is a huge surprise for Matt. Matt will have to look for a drawbridge in his trench instead.
At the end of the day, geophysics comes through for the Time Team and identifies a target near the castle fireplace. Could this be a tower or part of the mining? Tune into the rest of the Time Team to find out!
This would be a good episode to show in a middle school classroom, especially when the students are learning about the Middle Ages and building castles. This episode shows the evolution of the castle.
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