Archaeological dig at Bamburgh Castle postponed until at least late summer

A planned archaeological dig at Bamburgh Castle has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 26th March 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 1:10 am

Bamburgh Research Project has been carrying out annual excavations at the fortress since 1996, providing valuable fieldwork experience for many international students.

However, it has now joined the long list of enforced postponements.

A blog posted stated: “As with most organisations Bamburgh Research Project has been been monitoring the developing situation with Covid 19 and trying to come up with a clear plan on how to respond.

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Bamburgh Research Project director Graeme Young on site at Bamburgh Castle.

“I am sure it will be no surprise to hear that as the situation is changing so rapidly it is really rather difficult to make plans with certainty at the moment, and probably won’t be for some time so with reluctance we have closed bookings for the summer field school as we feel certain that it would not be responsible to try to run in June and July as planned.

“It seems sensible at the moment to postpone until at least the late summer or autumn. As things become more certain we will update you.”

This summer’s dig was to focus on a new excavation site to explore an exterior ditch beneath the entrance into the castle through the main gate. Here, as a result of erosion, numerous finds have been reported to the castle staff by members of the public.

Archaeologists at work at Bamburgh Castle.

Last year’s dig revealed finds dating back 1,300 years. Radiocarbon dating revealed that cobble and pebble surfaces that outlined two sides of a large timber structure were from the mid-7th to mid-8th century.