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Inrap archaeologists uncover medieval castle beneath French hotel

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Excavations at the Château Lagorce, a former 18th century private mansion in Vannes has revealed traces of the town’s medieval castle.

Vannes is located in the Morbihan department of Brittany in north-western France. In medieval times, the town served as the centre of a principality or kingdom recognised as Bro-Wened (“Vannes”) or Bro-Ereg (“land of Gwereg”).

Recent excavations by archaeologists from the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) have found traces of the towns medieval castle in preparation for the development of a fine arts museum.

As part of the first phase of excavations, the researchers have conducted a study of the mansion’s courtyard where they uncovered two stories of the castle’s defensive wall and a moat, located at a depth of 13 feet beneath street level.

The castle was built around 1380 by Jean IV who held the titles of Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort from 1345, and the 7th Earl of Richmond from 1372. Known as the Château de l’Hermine (Castle of Hermine), the castle was constructed to assert the Duke’s central authority over his duchy and the town of Vannes.

Image Credit : Emmanuelle Collado, Inrap

According to Inrap, the surviving stonework suggests that the castle had three to four floors and several staircases, one of which has been described as “remarkably preserved”. The team also found markings on several worked stones that the workers used to follow a building, and architectural features such as the latrines and drainage pipes.

A search of the latrines has also revealed traces of castle life from the 15th and 16th centuries, including coins, knives, tiles, wooden bowls, kitchen utilities, and several pieces of jewellery. Due to the conditions of the soil, objects such as items of clothing, shoe buckles, pins, rings, and a ball padlock have also survived.

Excavations have also uncovered a mill connected to the residential part of the castle, where a large water well was powered by water passing through a canal, and remnants of a bridge that connected the castle to the town.

Header Image Credit : Emmanuelle Collado, Inrap

Sources : Inrap

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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Archaeology

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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