08/07/2013

Dundrum Castle Dig Unearths Hidden Past

A recent dig at Dundrum Castle in County Down has unearthed new findings on its medieval past.

What is believed to be a medieval lime kiln was excavated during the dig, organised by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork at Queens University Belfast.

The castle is believed to be around 800 years old, but the site was used for centuries before the stone castle was built.

The lime kiln was likely used when the earliest parts of the castle were being built. It had been partially collapsed and buried during later episodes of activity at the site.

The work follows excavations carried out with Time Team in 2012 and is set to conclude at the end of this week.

A group of students from Queens University Belfast and volunteer members of the Ulster Archaeological Society are participating in the excavation process.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: "Dundrum Castle is in the state care of my Department and, with its magnificent views over Dundrum Bay to the Mourne Mountains, it is a testament to our wonderful Built and Natural heritage.

"New light has been shed on what existed at this important site before the coming of the Normans and adds to our knowledge of this historic site and its development over the centuries.

"It is important that we maximise the opportunity to unveil as much of our rich heritage as possible. This is why such archaeological digs are important and why I opened up the Crannog in Co Fermanagh to the public on several occasions and extended the dig there. The discoveries now being made at Dundrum Castle will further shape our understanding of the past, and enhance the visitor experience at the site."

(IT/CD)

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