Monday, October 05, 2009

Gatehouse at Cardigan Castle Discovered

Archaeologists have uncovered what could be the remains of the long-lost gatehouse at Cardigan Castle in Wales. A recent four-week dig at the site of the castle has found part of a substantial medieval wall.

The remains of the 12th-century stone castle were recently bought by Ceredigion County Council. It plans to restore the medieval monument site so it can be opened up to the public.

As part of its project, a team from Cambria Archaeology was called in recently to carry out an excavation while renovation work takes place on two 18th-century cottages on the west side of the site.

"Our four-week excavation has revealed part of a substantial mediaeval wall," said project manager, Nigel Page.

"This wall is definitely part of the medieval castle and the best explanation we can give on the basis of the evidence that we now have is that it is part of the castle entrance - possibly part of the gatehouse itself.

"The long-lost castle gatehouse is shown on the town seal as a massive three-storey structure and it is exciting to think that we appear to have uncovered what survives of it.

"This is the first time medieval masonry has been uncovered on this side of the castle and we hope that this small excavation will prove to be the first step in reconstructing the mediaeval topography of this part of Cardigan."

Castle historian Glen Johnson said it was a very exciting find. "To find a major part of a masonry castle anywhere in Wales is exciting," he said.

"It's particularly so at Cardigan, where all the upstanding remains of the castle are to the north-east and south and it's always been assumed that there would not be much surviving on the west side."