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Excavations Begin Again At Holt Castle

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, May 23rd, 2014.

Archaeologists from Wrexham Heritage Service are again carrying out archaeological excavations at Holt Castle.

The castle was built around 1282 by John de Warenne following the defeat of Llewelyn Ap Gruffydd. The impressive structure was pentagonal in plan with five massive round towers surrounding a central courtyard.

Sadly however following the castle’s abandonment in the mid-17th Century, the site was used as a stone quarry and all that remains today above ground is the central courtyard.

In 2013 archaeologists discovered the buried foundations of one of the towers to the west of the courtyard, together with traces of the former entrance tower and the surrounding rock cut ditch. This year the hunt is on to see whether any of the towers survived on the eastern side of the castle.

Pictures are from excavations in 2013

Pictures are from excavations in 2013

Stephen Grenter, Wrexham Council’s Heritage Service Manager said: “All the evidence suggests that Holt Castle was once one of the strongest castles in the country, however, if you visit today there is little surviving above ground that reflects its former grandeur.

“By revealing the remains of its massive defences we hope to make the site much more meaningful to the many people who visit the castle every year”.

There will be an open morning at the site on Saturday June 7th from 10am to 12 noon, with site tours and a chance to look at some of the finds.

The excavations at Holt have been staffed by local volunteers and has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and from Cadw:Welsh Historic Monuments.

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