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Sheffield Castle archeological dig to feature on BBC’s Digging for Britain

Dr Cat Jarman and Wessex Archeology's Dr Daniel Young examine the evidence

The archaeologists who have revealed Sheffield Castle’s underground secrets are to feature on BBC Two’s Digging for Britain on Sunday January 22.

The findings from the latest archaeology work at Castlegate reveal new information about the form and the position of Sheffield Castle’s moat and confirm the size and the structure of the motte. Archaeology and heritage specialists Wessex Archaeology, who previously worked on the Castlegate site in 2018, conducted a borehole survey last summer as part of helping to inform Sheffield Council’s redevelopment plans.

The castle was built on a bedrock promontory at the confluence of the River Sheaf and the River Don. A team of geoarchaeologists have been analysing the core samples to build up more understanding of what the landscape would have been like centuries ago.

The key findings from the latest borehole survey including more information about the location of the moat to the north east, where the moat exploited a former channel of the River Sheaf. The analysis has also revealed in places the motte was approximately 50 metres in diameter.

Archaeologist and Digging for Britain presenter Dr Cat Jarman, who visited Wessex Archaeology’s labs said: “This is such an exciting example of how science can reveal the nature of a site that is otherwise completely lost to us. Sheffield Castle was once an imposing part of the local landscape and to find evidence of its substantial motte helps us understand the castle’s role in the city’s development. It’s also wonderful to be able to show these scientific methods on a popular programme like Digging for Britain, as they rarely make it to TV screens!”

The investigations will feature on BBC Two’s Digging for Britain at 8pm on Sunday 22nd January 2023.

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