Medieval defences

Description of this historic site

An archaeological excavation at Warwick Castle revealed a bank containing Medieval pottery. The foundations of a Medieval gatehouse were also discovered. The present gatehouse is of late 13th century date.

Notes about this historic site

1 1987: A small excavation was undertaken inside the gatehouse and barbican in advance of pipe-laying operations. The earliest excavated levels consisted of layers of sand, loam, clay and gravel, deposited methodically from N to S. This probably represents construction of an earthen bank and contained possible 12th century pottery. No trace of any timber defences was found but the foundations of an earlier stone gatehouse were partially uncovered cutting through the bank material. This may have been contemporary with the barbican which, on architectural grounds, appears to have been constructed during the earlier 13th century. The existing gatehouse is late 13th century. A rutted stone surface of sandstone slabs may be contemporary. Inside the barbican a subsequent levelling down and resurfacing removed all pre-existing levels down to the bank material. This may equate with the landscaping activities of Capability Brown in 1753. The passageway of both gatehouse and barbican had been subsequently damaged by the installation of numerous modern pipes and wires.
2 Archaeological and Historical Survey of Warwick Castle Gatehouse and Barbican.
3 Plans from survey.
4 Photos from survey.
5 The location of this monument was moved to more accurately reflect the actual position of the gatehouse.
6 Plan from the archive showing the extent of excavation.

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