The Archaeology Field Group project at Calne Castle Hill Site project can now get under way, as approval for the first stage has been received from Wiltshire Council. The project aims to find archaeological evidence to show whether a castle ever existed on the site. There are 29 current or now disused local place names containing the word 'castle' which strongly suggests that there was a building, motte and bailey or hill fort of some importance on the site.
A small working party has been busy applying for a Challenge Fund grant from the Council for British Archaeology, obtaining licences, organising field work, and site protocols and has completed a Project Design. The first million brambles have also been cleared on the 10 x 10 metre site.
Initial survey work will carried out jointly with the Bath and Camerton Achaeological Society between 4 and 5 May 2010. In the expectation of stage 2 licence being granted excavation work has been scheduled for 5 to 19 July 2010 with public Open Days on 17 and 18 July to coincide with the first weekend of the Festival of British Archaeology.
Project details below
For further information please contact either of the Joint Site Directors: Robin Holley: 01249 815998 (mobile number on application) email
Calne Castle Hill. The site is situated at the top of Castle Hill in the Castle Fields park at Grid Reference ST39967552 – 17088572. It lies to the west of Patford Street, south of Castle Street and north of Chaveywell and can be reached near the A4 from Marlborough, Chippenham or Swindon. On street parking is available in Patford Street and Station Road. There is free parking at the lower Sainsbury car park and paid parking (50p for 6 hours) behind Bank House. All of these are a short but steep walk from the site and will be signposted with the AFG trowel.
Excavation, recording, photography, section drawing and finds washing. Every level of experience is welcome. There will be hands-on opportunities. Start time is 9am for 9.30am to 4.30pm daily, mornings, afternoons or whole days. Advance notice of intention to take part is required; members will not be welcome to just turn up. Please make your intentions known to either Robin or Wendy.
Obviously dress for the weather and bring own refreshments. There will be a Portaloo on site. Health and Safety forms to be signed by all members and Risk Assessment information will be available.