Author Topic: Possibly the greatest archaeological find in Diglis basin for many years  (Read 1921 times)

Admin

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Christopher took this photograph a few days ago. It's on the path between the small Diglis canal lock and the small Diglis river lock. The stretch of stone wall blocks looks medieval, they could be part of the City Walls Road but there is another theory suggesting the block work are the remains of Worcester Castle Hill!

The stream was called Frog Brook before it was opened as a canal in 1815.





If there is any evidence that the wall segment isn't part of Worcester City Castle Hill please post in this thread.

Well observed Christopher.  :)


thebrief_1979

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It certainly looks possible. They are the right type of brick. Another possibility is of course that the when the wall was taken down the bricks were used as building material.

christopher

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I have a print of a map from 1880 that shows the city boundary close to the lower basin, so it could be that?

Admin

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On the far right of the oil painting by William Marlow (1740 -1813) you can see a huge mound, this was the site of the Worcester castle and motte.

It was built in 1069. It stopped being a defensive building in the 13th century. It was quite a large motte (judging by the painting) and would have been a good defensive point for the earliest settlement of Worcester. The  Diglis area is, I believe, the oldest part of Worcester.

The Castle was used as a prison until 1814.

Perhaps the blocks were part of that prison, however, the motte wasn't dismantled until between 1823 - 1846, it would have had to been excavated first leaving the outer wall / walls in place.

I'm not sure that the City walls came that far South or crossed Frog brook at that point, I do know that Frog brook was diverted when the canal was built and that the walls crossed Frog brook at Sidbury.

What is known is that the original Worcester Castle stood at that spot and the walls, or most of them, were eventually used to rebuild the City walls.

I wonder if the Worcester archeologist's department did a dig there before Taylor Wimpey built their apartments?

Cllr Lynn Denham

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I asked James Dinn, City Council Archaeological Officer, about your photo find and he said
I noticed this stonework myself for the first time recently ? I think it may have been covered by vegetation.  The wall is part of the boundary wall of Webb?s Chemical Manure works.
This is some way outside the medieval defences ? the medieval castle was on the site now occupied by Kings School. However it is possible that stone was taken from the city wall or castle and reused here. The castle motte and probably bits of walls were still standing at the time that the canal was built.
Another possibility is that the stone is associated with the canal itself. Quite a lot of sandstone was used on the canal, for kerbs in particular.

Otherwise the stone could relate to a medieval stone building at Diglis itself. There was, for instance, a hermitage at Diglis which has never been found.
Of the 3, I?m actually starting to think that the third could be the most likely, based on the appearance of the stonework. These is a consistent chamfer (angle) to the top course of stones which is similar to what we see on medieval houses and other buildings, which is also rather different to the chamfer on the city wall. When medieval stone was reused they generally didn?t take much care with the chamfer. And finally I think the character of the wall is quite different to the canal-period stone structures I?ve seen.
I?ll certainly look at it again next time I?m in the area. It?s important that its
presence is noted so it can be protected if any changes take place. Likewise the 1911 brick urinal which stands a few feet away.

I thought this might be of interest.

christopher

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Very interesting, thank you.

I don't make a habit of discussing urinals but strangely this is actually something I have been thinking about. It is a useful "stop-off" now and again but it is now in a dreadful state inside with rubbish and even some dog-poo bags lobbed in. It would be great if the C&RT could "do it up" a bit as it has been there over 100 years and it would be a shame to lose it.

Admin

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It would be brilliant if the section of wall was part of the long lost hermitage at Diglis. Having looked at the Kings School history web site the motte and castle are clearly there.

The defences were rebuilt when the Civil War was being fought.