19/06/2012

Time Team In South Down

Channel Four's Time Team descended on a Northern Irish castle last week.

The archaeology programme, presented by Tony Robinson, visited the Mournes to find out what existed at the site of Dundrum Castle before the Normans built it.

The castle is believed to be about 800 years old but one theory is that John de Courcy, the Norman knight who also built Carrickfergus Castle, had Dundrum Castle built at its south Down site because it was already an important Gaelic dynastic centre.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork at Queen's University Belfast also worked on the excavation.
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Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: "Whilst the excavations may not uncover everything we are looking for I feel sure that they will add to our knowledge of the site and its development over the centuries."

Mr Attwood avoided giving away the end of the programme, which was shot over a couple of days last week.

NIEA archaeologist Paul Logue said the fact that Time Team were visiting for the third time in five years showed that Northern Ireland’s heritage was “top grade".

Archaeologists from Queen's University and the NIEA are staying at Dundrum Castle until the end of June to investigate its history further, and members of the public are particularly welcome to visit the dig over the next two weeks on Fridays between 2pm and 4pm.

(NE)

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