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Archaeological dig uncovers fascinating evidence of Taunton's history

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 14, 2012

Excavation at Taunton’s Castle Green has brought fascinating glimpses of the past to light

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Archaeologists have discovered important evidence of Taunton’s past as a fortified town and, later, a thriving market town.

Excavation at Castle Green has brought fascinating glimpses of the past to light, including a skeleton and some human bones. Further analysis is being carried out to determine when the person died, their age, what their diet was and if they had diseases that can be found within the bones.

Work is being carried out as part of Project Taunton and Taunton Deane Borough Council’s enhancement of Castle Green to turn the old car park into a paved and landscaped open space.

The dig is being carried out by AC Archaeology and Britannia Construction, the company contracted for the transformation of Castle Green. Most of the site lies within the precinct of the mediaeval Taunton Castle, a protected scheduled ancient monument, and Castle Green was once the outer bailey of the castle with barns, a chapel and graveyard.

The Norman castle was built over a large part of the Saxon cemetery and skeletons were first noted in 1943 by workmen digging a gas main near the Winchester Arms pub.

There is no public access to the site as it’s closed while construction work continues.

Councillor Mark Edwards, deputy leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “The history of Taunton from a Saxon town through medieval times and to the present day is of great interest to people. The work being done today adds to that history.”

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