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Archaeologists search for traces of Elizabethan Manor

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A team of archaeologists from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) are conducting a project to find traces of Whitecross Manor that stood in the town of Lydney, England.

Whitecross Manor was constructed during the 1570’s for the English mariner and landowner, Admiral Sir William Wyntour. William Wyntour was a sponsor of Sir Francis Drake’s voyages, including Drake’s circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition between 1577 and 1580.

Historical records describe how Whitecross Manor was burnt to the ground in 1645 by Sir John Wyntour to prevent being captured by Parliamentarian forces during the English Civil War (1642 – 1651). A court case from 1597 also describes how a black servant, Edward Swarthe, was whipped in the Great Hall of the Manor before a crowd assembled by a certain John Guy.

The manor was situated at the playing fields of Dean Academy (formerly Whitecross School), where RAU archaeologists led by Professor Mark Horton have been conducting a geophysical studying using ground penetrating radar and a magnetometry survey.

According to an RAU press statement, the team have been mapping the manor’s buried walls and located many of the outbuildings and wells. They are also hoping to find evidence of how the surrounding gardens and walls were fortified during the Civil War.

Professor Horton said: “This site was originally investigated in the 1970s and mid-1980s, as well as briefly in 2003, but many of the early finds were sold or dispersed before the Dean Heritage Centre opened and there are few records of the previous archaeological investigations.

The project, involving students from the RAU’s Cultural Heritage Institute (based at the University of Swindon) is reaching out to the public to find any objects or information related to the manor in the local community. Several items from the manor have been previously sold in auction, including a near complete Elizabethan rapier, and numerous potsherds and pipe fragments.

Professor Mark Horton, said: “We know that many Whitecross School students took part in previous site digs and they may have information and artefacts. We have already met some who were very helpful and had a pipe from the 1660s but we would be really pleased to hear from anyone who has anything connected to this site.”

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Sources : Royal Agricultural University (RAU)

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Excavations uncover traces of Kraków Fortress

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A team of archaeologists conducting archaeological works at the S52 construction site have uncovered traces of the Kraków Fortress in the Polish city of Kraków.

S52 is a Polish highway being constructed in the Silesian and Lesser Poland voivodeships, which upon completion will connect the border of the Czech Republic in Cieszyn with Kraków.

Kraków Fortress refers to a series of Austro-Hungarian fortifications constructed during the 19th century. The fortress included the 18th century Kościuszko Insurrection fortifications, the medieval Wawel Castle, and the Kraków city walls. Of the over 50 post-Austrian forts in Krakow, 44 structures have been preserved in their entirety or with minor changes.

Excavations in the area of ​​the northern bypass of Krakow have revealed the remains of earthen structures related to the network of military units being established around the city, whose task was to turn Krakow into a modern border fortress.

The team also uncovered traces of earth embankments and moats, as well as the infrastructure for draining rainwater from the infantry entrenchment area and a wooden shelter from a dugout measuring 25 by 7.5 metres.

A press statement by the Republic of Poland, said: “During the research, objects related to the everyday life of soldiers were discovered. These include a tin enameled mug with a signature on the bottom depicting a double-headed imperial eagle with the inscription Austria and the initials H&C 1/2.”

“The preserved marking allowed us to determine that the mug is a product of the Haardt & Co. factory located in Knittelfeld, Austria. Enamellierwerke und Metallwarenfabriken AG. Founded in 1873 by Friedrich Wilhelm Haardt, the factory produced embossed enamelled dishes, including orders for the then Austrian army.”

Header Image Credit : Republic of Poland

Sources : Republic of Poland

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Excavations at Sheffield Castle uncover city’s industrial heritage

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A team of archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology have uncovered the industrial heritage of Sheffield during excavations at Sheffield Castle.

Sheffield Castle was constructed following the Norman Conquest of England (1066) at the confluence of the River Sheaf and the River Don.

Throughout April and May of 2024, Wessex Archaeology is conducting a series of excavations to uncover and preserve the foundations of the circular towers of the castle’s gatehouse, and explore the destruction deposits from the razing of the original motte and bailey castle by John D’Eyvill in the 13th century.

The team will also be investigating areas never before excavated, finally reaching the remains of the 11th to 17th-century castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned.

Following the removal of the modern concrete foundations and backfill deposits, excavations have already uncovered traces of structures from the 19th century.

The team found remnants of a vaulted ceiling, which upon further inspection has been revealed to be a crucible furnace, a type of foundry furnace used for melting and casting metals such as steel, in addition to ‘rake out’ pits below the furnace.

A press statement by Wessex Archaeology, “This cellar would have been a hot, unpleasant place when the crucible furnaces above were working. Reaching temperatures of 1200 degrees centigrade, the firing process was hot and efficient, but it also produced lots of ash which needed to be cleared. The ash would fall into the ‘rake out’ pits below, where a worker, perhaps a young boy, had the back-breaking job of removing it.”

Throughout April and May 2024, the Sheffield community is invited to experience and discover the site’s archaeology firsthand, through open days and opportunities to participate in the excavation for a day. Attendance is FREE with booking required. For more information and to book, visit www.wessexarch.co.uk/events

Header Image Credit : Wessex Archaeology

Sources : Wessex Archaeology

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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