Students help with archaeological excavations in medieval castles and villages

Eine frühere archäologische Ausgrabung <i style=(Image: UCLan)” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/” “–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/>.

A previous archaeological dig (Image: UCLan)

The remains of a medieval castle and village will be the subject of a new archaeological study.

Funded by the Castle Studies Trust, the project aims to show how the Normans conquered and colonized the region and what that process looked like to the residents, and to chart the origins of the Lowther estate.

University students from the University of Central Lancashire, together with project leader Dr. Sophie Thérèse Ambler, a Lecturer in Medieval History and Associate Director of the Center for War and Diplomacy at Lancaster University, will excavate the site, with the project being led by Allen Archaeology.

Preliminary work suggests that the remains of the medieval Lowther Castle in Cumbria and adjacent village may date to the late 11th or early 12th century.

If so, the site would provide rare evidence of the conquest of Cumbria by King William Rufus and his brother King Henry I – a generation after the Normans took control of the rest of England.

dr Ambler says, “This is a tremendously exciting project. We have little written evidence for Cumbria in the early and middle Middle Ages: as this region was not part of William the Conqueror’s kingdom it is not included in the Domesday Book and little other record survives.

“The archeology at Lowther offers a fantastic opportunity to understand how the estate was founded – and this will hopefully provide important new evidence for a critical period in Britain’s past when Cumbria was annexed to the English Empire.”

The team will conduct a geophysical survey and dig trenches across the earthworks of the castle and village.

Your goal will be to find evidence of when the castle was built, its relation to the adjacent village and how the site has changed over the centuries.

The investigations will run for a month in early summer.

dr Jim Morris, Senior Lecturer in Archeology and Course Director in Archeology and Anthropology at UCLan, will guide the students on their obligatory summer dig.

He says: “It is an exciting opportunity for our second, third and masters year students to work at a site that could rewrite our understanding of the Norman conquest of Cumbria.

“There has never been an archaeological dig at this site and there is very little archaeological knowledge of the early Norman period. So we’re excited to see what we might discover.”

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