Cite this as: Jackson, N., Casswell, C. and Forster, M. 2023 A Medieval Drawbridge Pit and the Stories it Tells Us, Excavations at Pontefract Castle, 2019–2020, Internet Archaeology 61. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.61.4
DigVentures was commissioned by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council (WMDC) to undertake a programme of archaeological investigations as part of the Gatehouse Project, a community-focused archaeological research project based at Pontefract Castle, West Yorkshire. The social impact of the archaeological investigations, including project outcomes for heritage, for people and for the community, have been analysed and published in an earlier article. This article focuses on the archaeological evidence recovered during the excavations, and the conclusions drawn about the construction and chronology of the gatehouse at this part of the site.
Corresponding author: Manda Forster
Figure 1: Site location ©DigVentures
Figure 2: Painting of Pontefract Castle in the early 17th century, by Alexander Keirincx ©The Hepworth
Figure 3: Engraving of Pontefract Castle by George Vertue, commissioned by the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1732 and published in Volume 1 (plate 1.42) of the Vetusta Monumenta. This image is reproduced in the digital edition of the Vetusta Monumenta, accessed in 2023. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Figure 4: Post-excavation plan ©DigVentures
Figure 5: Annotated 3D model of the excavated trench ©DigVentures
Figure 6: Remote sensing results ©DigVentures and Aerial Cam
Figure 7: Reinterpretation of Pontefract castle ©DigVentures
Figure 8: Projected elements of the Great Tower ©DigVentures
Gallery 1: Excavating the site
Gallery 1a: Indie, Maggie and Nat remove the Victorian landscaping over the gatehouse
Gallery 1b: Nat, Ben and Jodie looking at their pretty section
Gallery 1c: Volunteers clean the eastern gatehouse tower
Gallery 1d: DigCamp excavating Victorian landscaping near the drum tower
Gallery 1e: Participants draw inspiration from the excavation to create sketches of the castle
Gallery 1f: David and Chris using GPS to record section points in the drawbridge pit
Gallery 2: Finds
Gallery 2a: Double ended axe head, SF34 / Cat no. 14 (1097)
Gallery 2b: Iron staple, SF33 / Cat no. 17 (1079)
Gallery 2c: Copper alloy axle housing, SF32 / Cat no. 53 (1079)
Gallery 2d: Bone parchment-pricker/stylus, SF21 / Cat no. 12 (1076)
Gallery 2e: Stone cannon balls, A. SF30 / Cat no. 33 (1074); B. SF29 / Cat no. 32 (1074)
Gallery 2f: A Cast Iron shot, SF19 / Cat no. 34. B. Lead shot with impact damage. C. Other lead shot
Gallery 3: The mason's marks
Gallery 3a: Examples of mason's marks
Gallery 3b: External gatehouse wall elevation, showing mason's marks
Gallery 3c: West drawbridge pit wall elevation, showing mason's marks
Gallery 3d: East drawbridge pit wall elevation, showing mason's marks
Gallery 3e: South drawbridge pit wall elevation, showing mason's marks
Gallery 3f: Casing wall and north drawbridge elevations, showing mason's marks
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