Hair salon's brush with hidden Trowbridge history

Hair salon's brush with hidden Trowbridge history

Keith Turner, chairman of Trowbridge Archaeological Society, Rachael Charlton of Preserve our Past and Richard Gardner and Kerry Sawyer from the hair salon

A Victorian depiction of Trowbridge Castle

First published in Latest News

In the week it was confirmed that remains found under a Leicester car park were those of King Richard III, archaeologists are discovering what lies beneath Trowbridge.

A skeleton was discovered last August by archaeologists and the bones were confirmed as those of the former monarch, who died in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field, on Monday.

During the same period, members of the Preserve Our Past and Trowbridge Archaeological Group have been working in cellars in Fore Street.

They have been using a ground penetrating radar to see if there is any surviving evidence of the ditch of the outer bailey which once surrounded Trowbridge Castle.

Preserve Our Past used research on the castle which was written by local historian Ken Rogers.

Rachael Charlton, of Preserve Our Past, said: “It was as a result of reading this article, where he mentions the court roll of 1306 recording the surrender of a lease of land in the ditch – which probably became the inner side of Fore Street – that we decided to see if we could find any physical evidence of the ditch under the present day cellars.”

One of the cellars that the team explored is beneath Richard Gardner’s hair salon in Fore Street.

Mr Gardner said: “I’m so intrigued to know more about my home town’s history – to think that my salon is right in the midst of what was then the bailey of Trowbridge castle is truly fascinating.”

The project has received help from Dr Stuart Prior, the director of excavations at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, to examine archaeological evidence from the castle site.

Keith Turner, chairman of Trowbridge Archaeological Society, said: “The Trow-bridge group is a small but active society and we are pleased to be involved with local projects like this.

“We were able to use ground penetrating radar to survey some areas around the site of Trowbridge Castle.

“This innovative approach was a successful use of this technology and will hopefully add to our knowledge of the castle.”

The findings from the exploration of the cellars are currently being analysed with a report expected later in the year.

The first record of Trow-bridge Castle was in 1139, when it was besieged, suggesting it was built some time before then.

Anyone who would like to get involved with the project can email preserveourpast@hotmail.co.uk

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