Skip to content
Visitors take a look at some of the finds from the Shrewsbury Castle dig.

Time is running out to take a look at the excavations on top of the motte, the great earth mound overlooking the river, and the finds unearthed by the team, led by local archaeologist Dr Nigel Baker and Dr Morn Capper of University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS), which is part of the University of Chester.

Visitors can see the trenches, artefacts, and chat about the dig with members of the team, including Museums and Heritage student volunteers from UCS and Archaeology at Chester. Ornate pottery, animal bone, glass and the remains of structures providing more clues to the Castle’s past, are among the discoveries so far.

People are being welcomed until 4.30pm tomorrow (Wednesday, July 27) to follow in the footsteps of all the visitors to this year’s 12-day dig - with more than 700 people attending an open day on Saturday alone.

The dig has been made possible by a grant of £6,790 from the Castle Studies Trust, a UK-based charity founded in July 2012 with the aim of increasing knowledge of castles in the UK and abroad.

Dr Capper, from the Department of History and Archaeology, said: “We are very grateful to the Castle Studies Trust and Shropshire Council for their support for the Shrewsbury Castle dig.

“Working with Dr Nigel Baker, Dai Williams and the National Trust volunteers is hugely valued by our students. The professionalism of this year's 12 Archaeology, Museums and Heritage citizen student volunteers, and their skills and imagination in bringing this site to the public, have enabled this year's dig, open day and summer pop-up exhibitions to bring the Shrewsbury Castle story to the community.”

Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, who viewed the site along with members of the Cabinet, added: “The dig has unearthed some interesting finds - not least the ‘dragon bone’ which has captured the imagination of younger visitors. It is an excellent opportunity for visitors to see how excavations are managed.”

Before the start of the excavations, Dr Baker explained: “We know this was the strongest point of the Norman castle, and was once crowned by a tall wooden tower, sometimes called the ‘Great Tower of Shrewsbury’, until that was undermined by the river and fell down in the mid-1200s.

“The big question is though – how much damage did Thomas Telford do up there when he built Laura’s Tower? Previous digs funded by the Trust found that Telford’s restoration in the 1780s had been extremely destructive, though evidence survived that the site had been occupied in the Saxon period, and before the castle was built by the Normans to suppress revolt in newly-conquered Shrewsbury.”

Visitors to the dig are welcome until 4.30pm on Wednesday (July 27) and progress can be followed via student blogs at:

Images: Shropshire Council

Share this content