Hampshire Museums Service

Archaeology

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Odiham Castle excavations - 14th century

At some stage a substantial palisade was constructed just beyond the inner moat, fronted by a flat-bottomed ditch. The post-casts of this palisade survived in excellent condition.

This may have been called into action in 1322, when Robert le Ewer, onetime Constable of Odiham Castle, attempted to retake the fortress having been outlawed by Edward II.

The ditch appeared to have been deliberately filled, and among the things buried in it were dismembered horse carcasses, and roughly rounded stones (right).#

The latter were clearly candidates for siege catapult or trebuchet ammunition, but so too were the former.

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Medieval accounts exist of these unsavory missiles, impregnated with bacilli, being fired into a fortification as a primitive form of germ warfare.

Another offensive weapon occurring in some quantity in this locality was the armour-piercing arrowhead - wicked looking socketed spikes of iron, up to 200mm in length (right).

A small rectangular building was terraced into the west side of the early period bank, and would have been a lean-to structure, possibly a store.

 
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