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Archaeologists search for Roman remains in Gloucester

After uncovering a castle on a par with the Tower of London underneath the old prison in Gloucester, yet more artifacts have been dug up.

Archaeologists search for Roman remains in Gloucester
Mud, glorious mud! Rain and seeping river water hasn't stopped archaelologists 
who are working in a large trench off Quay Street, opposite the former prison,
 as they excavate the site of Gloucester's medieval Castle 
[Credit: Andrew Higgins]
Since the castle was found in December work has been on-going at both the Castle site and around Blackfriars.

Archaeologists have dug a large trench off Quay Street as they explore for more finds both on the castle site and other sites in the city. At the castle further medieval structures have been found on the site.

Andrew Armstrong, archaeologist at Gloucester City Council, said: "From an archaeological point of view this is a hugely interesting and important part of the city.

"It includes the south-west corner of the Roman city of Glevum, the old Roman waterfront, the site of the Norman Castle (the 'Old Castle') which extends throughout the southern half of Bearland car park. It also holds the site of the medieval castle (the New Castle) which extends from the site of the old prison northwards into the Quayside area."

Archaeologists search for Roman remains in Gloucester
A 200 year old wall, uncovered as archaelologists are working in a large trench 
off Quay Street, opposite the former prison, as they excavate the site 
of Gloucester's medieval Castle [Credit: Andrew Higgins]
So far medieval pottery has been found on the site as well as oyster shells, work has been on-going at the site Monday, April 4.

Jon Eeles, amateur historian, said: "It is good news that this is being found and dug up but I don't want it flattened and built on. Tourists won't visit Gloucester to see a block of flats but they will visit to see historical remains."

Mr Eeles would is an advocate for keeping the artefacts visible to the public but still protected.

He added: "Bath got very badly bombed in the war, while Gloucester avoided much of it. Bath have managed to show off their history well despite the bombing, in Gloucester we have so much more history but have done a good job of hiding it."

Archaeologists search for Roman remains in Gloucester
Medieval pottery and oyster shells found at the site 
[Credit: Andrew Higgins]
The archaeologists expect to find Roman town houses at the Quayside site.

Chris Chatterton, manager of the Soldiers of Gloucester museum, said: "This site is the perfect microcosm of the history in Gloucester which is so broad. Nowhere else in the county has the history that Gloucester does."

The work is taking place ahead of redevelopment plans of Gloucester around Quayside and Blackfriars. The area extends from Commercial Road in the south as far as Quay Street in the north.

Mr Chatterton added: "It is a genuinely fascinating process and I am very interested to see what they find during the dig. If it is anything magnificent, like the recent dig at the prison site was, it needs to be preserved and protected for people to see."

Author: Ellis Lane | Source: Gloucester Citizen [April 13, 2016]

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