Workers Renovating An Old Prison Stumble Upon A 12-Century Castle Underground


The greatest archeological and historical discoveries are often found in the most unlikely of places. This was the case last December, when construction workers were left in awe while renovating a men’s prison in Gloucester, England.

Intending to tear down and replace the old facility, the crew was forced to halt the project when they unearthed pieces of near-ancient history. So just what, exactly, was down there? Would you believe it was a medieval castle?

 

This is the old prison in Gloucester, England that was scheduled to be torn down. No one could’ve predicted that a 12th-century castle was hidden underneath it.

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Along with the still-intact castle walls, some 900 artifacts were uncovered beneath the old prison.

 Cliff Bateman, project manager for Cotswold Archeology, shows city councillors and other visitors, the 12th century prison walls revealed at the archeological dig site inside the former Gloucester prison. Photo by Andrew Higgins 07-12-2015

 

The artifacts ranged from pottery shards to bone dice.

GV, of the archeological dig site inside the former Gloucester prison. Photo by Andrew Higgins 07-12-15

archaeologist Neil Holbrook said: “We are surprised by what we found; we knew there was a castle but had expected more of it to have been destroyed,” 

Cliff Bateman, project manager for Cotswold Archeology, finds a Roman roof tile, pictured, wedged into the 12th century prison walls, revealed at the archeological dig site inside the former Gloucester prison. Photo by Andrew Higgins

 

This castle is believed to be the second of two built in the city of Gloucester. In its day, it would have been comparable in size to the White Tower at the Tower of London.

The archeological dig site inside the former Gloucester prison. Photo by Andrew Higgins 07-12-15

The castle was likely built around the year 1110.

The archeological dig site inside the former Gloucester prison. The red bricks are remains of the 18th century prison building, the stone work and walls date back to 1120. Photo by Andrew Higgins 07-12-15

The castle was torn down in 1787 and hadn’t been seen since… until now, that is.

The archeological dig site inside the former Gloucester prison. The red bricks are remains of the 18th century prison building, the stone work and walls date back to 1120. Photo by andrew Higgins 07-12-2015

 

The plan was to excavate and protect all of the artifacts before the prison can be rebuilt.

09-castle-tower-under-prison-gloucesterHistory really is hiding everywhere, huh?

Can you believe such a valuable piece of the historical record was right under their feet for centuries? Makes you wonder what else is out there to be found.





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