Works for part of Severn Trent Water’s water and waste improvement scheme in Newark, have revealed the original 3m deep moat created to defend Newark Castle during the English Civil War.
Severn Trent Water’s £60M project, when completed, will protect more than 400 homes and businesses from sewer flooding and the town will have a reliable water system.
Aarsleff Ground Engineering has been working on the sheet piling scheme since January this year. The work includes constructing a cofferdam using 12m long steel sheet piles to form the launch shaft from a 1200mm diameter tunnel.
Severn Trent Water programme engineer Nick Wallace said: ‘It’s really exciting we’ve been able to reveal these glimpses of Newark’s hidden heritage during our work. We’re unveiling new information which adds to the already rich story of the development of this historic town.”
Severn Trent Water is working in Newark until 2020, and have a resident archaeologist on hand to oversee the work to make sure that the heritage remains undisturbed.
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“These findings are really fascinating, and it’s brilliant that our work has been able to uncover them,” adds Wallace. “It’s also especially pleasing that we’ve been able to uncover such an historically important find while also being able to continue with our work, this means there’s no disruption to our programme which will be a benefit to everyone, as we’re still on track to complete our work on Castle Gate in June.”
Trent and Peak Archaeology senior project archaeologist Vicky Owen said: “This is a fantastic find. The portion of the moat we’ve been able to excavate contains animal bones and green glazed pottery dating broadly from the 13th and 14th centuries. This suggests that the ditch began infilling around the time that this part of castle began to fall into decay.”
Severn Trent’s water and waste improvement scheme will take four years to complete and includes the replacement of almost 20km of pipes with larger diameter bores.