Hampshire Museums Service

Archaeology

Excavation trench

Castle excavations - 15th century

The inner moat was in-filled, and the surrounding area levelled even further. A repeating pattern of bowl-shaped pits appears to represent tree or shrub planting holes.

This gardening activity would certainly have improved the view from the keep during its final years of use as a hunting-lodge.

A small square building foundation may be of this date also, or may belong to the period when the main structure was being robbed of its dressed stone).

When the octagonal keep was constructed, light grey malmstone chippings and debris spread out from it on all sides. This distinctive layer then buried beneath the dumps of gravel used to raise the general ground level. The layer was also cut through by the inner moat, which was probably the source of most of the gravel.

The sides of this ditch were treated with yellow mortar in order to stabilise them, and the curve of the ditch can be plainly seen. Beyond the ditch is the small square flint foundation which might be the remains of a garden feature, or possibly a watchman's hut.