Castle Bank Dig – 26th to 28th April 2017

Martin Railton had obtained permission for DigAppleby to excavate some small archaeological trenches on the edge of Appleby at Castle Bank in order to look for evidence of buildings depicted on the 1754 plan of Appleby. This is one of the few plots in Appleby believed to have been occupied in the medieval period, which has not since been re-developed.

Here’s Martin’s initialĀ appraisal of the results:

“Just to say a big thank you for all the hard work over the last three days.

Three days go so fast when you are digging and the Friday was certainly a rush to the finish line! You all moved a lot of earth (and the backfilling yesterday was hard work) but it was well worth it as we found the dwelling we were looking for and more.

The finds are still to be analysed by Sue from Wardell Armstrong, but what we do know is that there was certainly a building on the site, which was probably subdivided, with a dwelling to the west, and area for animals to the east, situated on a sunken house platform surrounded by clay and stone banks.

The excavated evidence included the remains of a flagged floor with a western entrance doorway, sandstone walls which were held together with mortar, external(?) cobbled path, and a rough cobbled yard area (for animals) with drain (found last minute by Andy). The building was demolished in the late 18thor early 19th century based on historic mapping and the finds recovered. We have some limited medieval evidence (including a possible clog/shoe), but the date of the original structure so far is uncertain.

Remains of interior flagging, wall and external cobbles


Members attack the second trench

We have certainly proven that archaeology survives in the field, and we may get to revisit in the future to reveal more of the site now we have confirmed its survival.

Thank you again for all your help and hard work. Enjoy your bank holiday weekend!

Best wishes,