Archeology project unveils 12th Century lodge in Westgate

Friday, 5th August, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Terry Ferdinand

Volunteers are involved in a dig to uncover a 12th Century hunting lodge in Weardale.

The dig is part of Altogether Archeology, a project the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is running. Around three hundred volunteers are taking part in similar projects across the North Pennines.

“There’s all sorts of features. The one that gets the most attention is the spiral staircase in the corner, which is 12th Century,” said Paul Frodsham.

“When we started it was assumed that the mound we are standing on was the mound on which the castle was built, and all the stone work had been nicked away. But what we realise now is that the mound is the castle, because it’s collapsed in on itself.”

At six to seven feet down, the team are still to reach ‘ground level’.

Trix Anderson is overseeing the excavations.

“The concept of this part of the project is to see how much is here,” he said. “To look at how far the remains go, how deep they go, have an idea of how well preserved they are.”