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HomeGreek PhilosphyUnexpected Archaeological Discovery May Re-Write English Civil War History

Unexpected Archaeological Discovery May Re-Write English Civil War History

Conny Waters – – Archaeologists excavating the positioning of Coleshill Manor in Warwickshire have uncovered proof of what may very well be one of many first battles of the English Civil War within the Seventeenth century.

The workforce from Wessex Archaeology was astonished on the hanging indicators that the closely fortified gatehouse discovered on web site had come below hearth, with round 200 affect marks from pistol photographs and musket balls on its outer aspect.

Unexpected Archaeological Discovery May Re-Write English Civil War History

Remains of Coleshill gatehouse towers throughout excavation. Credit: HS2

Over 40 musket balls have been faraway from the close by soil, which might have been a moat across the manor’s gatehouse, additional suggesting {that a} skirmish had taken place. The discovery will characteristic in Series 10 of BBC’s Digging for Britain.

“The discovery of the medieval gatehouse at Coleshill was fairly sudden – and I used to be amazed at simply how a lot of the monumental stone constructing, with its two nice octagonal towers, had survived beneath the bottom. The entrance of the gatehouse was pockmarked and had clearly been shot at with muskets – maybe for goal observe – however there’s additionally an intriguing chance that we’re taking a look at proof of the earliest skirmish of the Civil War,” Professor Alice Roberts, historian, and presenter of Digging for Britain, mentioned.

Unexpected Archaeological Discovery May Re-Write English Civil War History

Musket ball affect marks on the surface wall of Coleshill gatehouse. Credit: HS2

The English Civil War started in August 1642. The battle was between the Royalists who have been loyal to King Charles I, and Parliamentarians, referred to as the Roundheads. The first recorded battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Curdworth Bridge, passed off in 1642 and was solely a brief distance from Coleshill Manor.

The Manor was within the fingers of Royalist Simon Digby because the Civil War approached after the property was transferred into his identify following the execution of its earlier proprietor, Simon De Montford, for Treason.

Coleshill Manor, subsequent to a bridge over the River Cole, would have been a strategic place that the Roundheads would have wished to regulate. Experts imagine that the Roundheads would have handed near the Manor on their option to battle. It is completely believable {that a} skirmish passed off on the best way to Curdworth Bridge, particularly given the Manor’s sturdy Royalist connection.

Historical information of the Civil War are confined to well-known main battles, so particulars of the precise occasions won’t ever be identified. Still, these marks uncovered as a part of HS2’s archaeology program present a uncommon glimpse into the affect of warfare on the lives of these not recorded within the historical past books.

The workforce from Wessex Archaeology have now accomplished excavating the foundations of the gatehouse at Coleshill Manor.

“As the excavations at Coleshill for HS2 wrap up, it’s well timed to mirror on the extraordinary archaeology we’ve found and recorded.

Unexpected Archaeological Discovery May Re-Write English Civil War History

“Although we knew there was a manor house at the site, we had no idea that we would uncover such rich and revealing archaeological evidence. From one of the most impressive Elizabethan ornamental gardens in the country to the remains of what could be the first skirmish of the Civil War, these findings – not recorded in historical records – would have been lost to time, had it not been for the expertise and hard work of the team,” Stuart Pierson, Archaeologist, Wessex Archaeology, mentioned.

The extent of the gatehouse was unknown earlier than work started, as the one documentation of its existence was a passing point out in Seventeenth-century information. Not solely was the gatehouse a defensive characteristic of the Manor, however it additionally highlighted the significance of its proprietor. The gatehouse to the Manor probably opened to a drawbridge over the moat. It featured a big stone constructing to the again measuring about 10m by 10m with two closely fortified angular towers constructed of high quality ashlar masonry and expertly-carved stone blocks.

It is believed that it was constructed within the thirteenth or 14th centuries and went out of use within the 1650s earlier than being demolished within the late Seventeenth century to make means for a more moderen, extra fashionable manor, courtyard and gardens.

Unexpected Archaeological Discovery May Re-Write English Civil War History

CGI reconstruction of Coleshill Manor. Credit: HS2

HS2 excavations additionally revealed spectacular Sixteenth-century decorative gardens similar to these of Kenilworth Castle and Hampton Court Palace. During preliminary investigations, the existence of the gardens and Manor home have been picked up by aerial pictures, and from that, HS2’s archaeological workforce started making ready for the specialist excavations.

See additionally: More Archaeology News

“HS2’s in depth archaeology program, which has concerned a whole bunch of individuals, has supplied unparalleled insights into the historical past of Britain, and the discoveries at Coleshill Manor are a serious a part of that. Whilst we could by no means have all the main points of the battle that passed off in Coleshill, our investigations assist historians weave collectively the advanced items of data to extend our understanding of occasions.

Although fieldwork between London and the West Midlands is essentially full, detailed submit excavation research will start shortly and we’ll proceed to share the unbelievable items of our previous found throughout this as soon as in a lifetime dig,” Helen Wass, HS2’s Head of Heritage, mentioned.

Written by Conny Waters – Staff Writer



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