04 Jan 2008 00:01:00.000
When Channel 4's award winning programme Time Team joined forces with experts from The University of Nottingham they quite literally struck gold. Excavations at Codnor Castle in Derbyshire unearthed a gold coin which presenter Tony Robinson said was one of the most valuable single items ever found on Time Team.
This Sunday a new series of Time Team begins with their three day dig at Codnor Castle, one of only two medieval castles in Derbyshire with stone walls surviving to the present day.
In his quest to safeguard the castle's future Gavin Chamberlain, founder of the Codnor Castle Preservation Society, called on the help of Time Team. In turn they enlisted the local expertise and knowledge of Trent & Peak Archaeology (TPA), which was incorporated into The University of Nottingham last year.
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Their discoveries over three wet days last June revealed far more than anyone ever expected. In the bottom of Codnor Castle's moat they found a Gold Noble coin which dates back to the time of Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt. Their excavations also uncovered the remains of a massive round tower and one of the first drawbridges ever discovered in the programme's 15 year history.
Dr David Knight, Director of TPA said: "The Time Team excavations have added significantly to our knowledge of Codnor Castle and have provided a strong foundation for future work. TPA are hoping to carry out further work with the Codnor Castle Preservation Society in 2008 to elucidate the history and archaeology of this important Derbyshire monument."
Codnor Castle in Derbyshire's Amber Valley may have begun life as a Norman motte and bailey fortress, becoming a stone castle possibly in the 13th Century. Nobody really knows what the building originally looked like, but 18th Century sketches show an impressive complex of ruined buildings. The castle was visited on at least two occasions by kings and their retinues, and we may assume that in its heyday it would have been a most impressive construction.
The Time Team dig has left Gavin Chamberlain with a fund of new information. He said: "The Time Team dig at the castle was a fantastic experience and there were many experts on hand to help piece together Codnor Castle's past. Now with the Time Team programme we have the chance to share with the whole nation the wealth of our local heritage. It will help us greatly in promoting Codnor Castle as a major site of local historical importance and inform the public of the need to preserve the castle for future generations."
Time Team returns to our TV screens with Gold in the Moat on Sunday 6th January at 5.45pm on Channel 4.
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Notes to Editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THES) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.
Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy).
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for three years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.