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Dig this - open day at Clare Castle excavations

PUBLISHED: 19:01 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 20:10 19 September 2019

Volunteers at work on the dig at Clare Castle Picture: COTSWOLD ARCHAEOLOGY

Volunteers at work on the dig at Clare Castle Picture: COTSWOLD ARCHAEOLOGY

COTSWOLD ARCHAEOLOGY

The public is being invited to an open day at archaeological excavations underway at Clare Castle Country Park.

Volunteers at work on the dig at Clare Castle Picture: COTSWOLD ARCHAEOLOGYVolunteers at work on the dig at Clare Castle Picture: COTSWOLD ARCHAEOLOGY

The project aims to find out more about the site and how it developed over the past 900 years.

Local volunteers have teamed up with Cotswold Archaeology Suffolk for a three-week community dig at what is one of the earliest motte and bailey castles in the county.

An open day on Sunday September 22 will see archaeologists and volunteers on hand to talk about their work on the castle's inner bailey and the discoveries they have made.

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The excavations follow a successful 2018 dig which focused on the outer bailey and part of a wider project supported by a National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant.

The inner bailey is within the site of a possible pre- Norman conquest religious house found in 2013.

The dig also hopes to answer questions about late Saxon occupation and the 11th and 12th century domestic buildings in the area.

The manor of Clare was held by Saxon lord Aelfric before the Norman conquest but extensive lands in Suffolk, including those of Aelfric, were handed to the Norman baron Richard Fitzgilbert following a revolt against William the Conqueror in 1075 and the castle was constructed by 1090AD.

Jo Caruth, Cotswold project manager said: "One of the first finds that we have made this year is a half silver coin of William the Conqueror, so contemporary with the castle's construction."

The open day runs between 12pm and 4pm, and there will be free guided tours and a chance to handle finds from the site.

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