Home About News Services Wedigthecastle Projects Staff Vacancies Community Contact
      We Dig The Castle
Trent & Peak Archaeology  Established 1967
Trent & Peak Archaeology is a trading name of York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research. Limited Registered Office: 47 Aldwark, York, YO1 7BX A Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England No. 1430801 A registered Charity in England & Wales (No. 509060) and Scotland (No. SCO42846)
17 July - 18 August 2017 Be part of it
About our prices The training excavation price covers all equipment and everything that you'll need to be part of the excavation. Just bring lunch, boots and suncream! If you're looking for accommodation please see the University of Nottingham and Experience Nottinghamshire  websites. We Dig the Castle is the ideal opportunity to develop your skills of practical archaeology, whether you're studying for a degree, are a new graduate, or are a total beginner. Coming back in 2017 is a great  way of building on the experience gained in previous years and seeing how you've progressed. That's why, to say thank you for being part of We Dig the Castle, we offer a special discount to people who trained with us in 2015 or 2016 and would like to continue developing their skills. With a new programme of training sessions, tutorials and workshops for 2017, and a brand new daily timetable, we've got more opportunities than ever to gain skills and experience across the different specialisms of field archaeology. We really appreciate everyone who plays a role in community and voluntary archaeology. We value the skills and commitment shown by community archaeology groups and volunteers, and  know the importance of recognising, and developing, these. At Trent & Peak Archaeology we also know that it can be difficult for community members to access training and skills development. That's why we'd like to offer a special discounted price on our training excavation to anyone who has been involved in a community or volunteer project with Trent & Peak Archaeology (no matter how long ago). Please get in touch for more information. 
Why be part of We Dig the Castle         The team: We Dig the Castle is the ideal opportunity to develop your archaeological skills, whether you're new to archaeology, have had training before, or are working towards (or have) a qualification. Perhaps you are a volunteer, looking to build on your skills in a more            structured environment, or to expand your abilities beyond your usual role. Or maybe you have never done anything like this          before, and want to try it for the very first time! We offer a supportive, small-group, environment with high staff to trainee ratios. Trainees will work alongside professional    archaeologists from Trent & Peak Archaeology, and join in workshops and tutorials delivered by subject specialists. For students, our staff are experienced in completing the placement journals that may be required by your university. We have an established reputation and strong working relationships with a number of archaeology departments. In 2015 and 2016 students from universities across the UK, and from abroad, came to train with We Dig the Castle.  
We Dig the Castle, Nottingham Castle's annual excavation, uncovers new knowledge of the archaeology and history of the Castle site by offering people of all backgrounds the opportunity to get involved in archaeology.  It returns for 2017 on 17 July-18 August.
Nottingham Castle - a Scheduled Ancient Monument Castle Rock has had a turbulent, and often violent, history. When the Normans seized England in 1066 William the Conqueror ordered that a motte and bailey castle be built on this easily defended rocky outcrop at the heart of the country. This became one of the most important royal castles outside of London, and the scene of events that changed the course of national history. It was the medieval Nottingham Castle that was seized by Prince John, and subsequently laid siege to by King Richard the Lionheart. Queen Isabella and her lover Roger, Earl Mortimer, were similarly seized at Nottingham Castle, allowing their regime to be overthrown. And it was from Nottingham Castle, the seat of his government, that King Richard III set out to the Battle of Bosworth. Less than two centuries later, in 1642, King Charles I raised his standard here, catapulting Britain into civil war. Soon succumbing to Parliamentarian forces, the Castle would remain subject to repeated, but unsuccessful, Royalist attack throughout the Civil War. Knowing the strength of any enemy holding the castle, Parliament ordered in 1652 that it should be destroyed. With the castle demolished the site was purchased by the exiled Royalist commander William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, and his Ducal Palace built. Less than two centuries later, in 1830, this palace was set alight in riots sparked by the failure of the Reform Bill. The burned-out ruins were abandoned, but in 1878 eventually rebuilt to become England's first municipal art gallery and museum outside of the capital. The site is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and incorporates the rebuilt 'Ducal Palace' and its grounds, Brewhouse Yard and the extensive cave network hidden inside Castle Rock.
Today is an exciting time for this 'beacon of power, protest and rebellion throughout the centuries'. With the £29.4 million Nottingham Castle Transformation project (2014- 2020) 'one thousand years of history lie ready to be discovered on a site rich in archaeology and human interest', in 'the most significant heritage regeneration project in the UK today'. See the Nottingham Castle timeline 
Taster sesions and courses available, and training that you will receive We Dig the Castle offers a variety of courses, ranging from a 1 or 2 day taster to a 1-5 week study place. With our timetabled day of induction, skills tutorials, task-based workshops, and excavation, trainees can chart how their skills have developed. A changing daily programme allows trainees attending for 2 days or more to develop and practice skills in a variety of areas, and those coming for a taster to select the days most appropriate to their interests. Whether you’re new to archaeology or more experienced, joining us for a taster or a longer study place, all trainees will                receive the same high quality training. Not sure if it’s for you, or just want to try archaeology as a one-off? Come along for a 1 or 2 day taster. During the training you’ll work with experienced field archaeologists from Trent & Peak Archaeology, including our Community Archaeologist. A variety of experts from both Trent & Peak Archaeology and the wider archaeological community will join us to            support tutorials and workshops.  Training sessions include: Principles of excavation: stratigraphy and contexts Excavation techniques Site recording: planning, levelling, section drawing, photography and context description Survey & laser scanning Post-excavation and processing Organic and inorganic finds Environmental evidence and samples, including flotation
Click on the image for a larger version
The site: This is a unique chance to be part of an excavation of a Scheduled Ancient Monument, on a site famous across the world. This is your opportunity to discover an almost unknown area of Nottingham Castle. 2017 trainees will be excavating at a new lower level, with the possibility of uncovering the castle's first evidence of the English Civil War. You too can help to reveal more of the story of Nottingham Castle.
Dates and prices The We Dig the Castle training excavation 2017 takes place on weekdays from Monday 17 July to Friday 18 August. Due to popular demand, and new to 2017, a Saturday training excavation day runs on Saturday 5 August. Trainees are welcome (subject to availability), to book on their preferred dates. For those joining us on weekly study places these usualy run from Monday to Friday. However, we’re happy to hear from anyone      who would like a study place to start and finish on a different day (e.g. Tuesday-Monday), or would like to come for a different     number of days. We can also be flexible (subject to availability) if you would like to come on non-consecutive days,                               or on the same days in successive weeks, perhaps to fit around work or childcare responsibilities.
Click on the image for a larger version
Would you like to progress through the Archaeology Skills Passport? We Dig the Castle is carefully designed to help you to develop and practice the key Core and Secondary skills of the Archaeology Skills Passport. This makes it a great option for students looking to evidence their skills and experience.    We can help you to obtain a Skills Passport, and assist you in evidencing your abilities onsite. Find out more about the Archaeology Skills Passport  
The Skills Passport is a way of recording practical training that you have received, and skills that you have gained and used, during your development as an archaeology student, volunteer or trainee. For those considering a career in archaeology, It lists the central core, secondary and tertiary skills that you will use as part of the profession. Anyone can have an Archaeology Skills Passport, whether or not you're intending a career in the field. It's a great way of recording how your skills have developed, and identifying areas to focus on next. For students intending a career in archaeology it's a useful way of charting your skillset, projects and CPD, demonstrating a commitment to personal development, providing evidence in applications and interviews, and planning your future path.
Who is it for and how do I get involved? We Dig the Castle is for anybody aged 16-plus (14-plus if with a parent/guardian) interested in discovering, trying, or improving their skills in practical archaeology. If you’d like to introduce younger children to   archaeology why not bring them to our ‘archaeology for all ages’ day, part of the national Festival of Archaeology? We welcome people of all backgrounds, levels of education, and previous experience (or none!). You do not need to live in Nottingham, to have been part of We Dig the Castle before, or to have studied archaeology. As a research excavation full involvement in all of training activities at We Dig the Castle does involve a    degree of physical exertion. If this might prevent you from being involved please get in touch, as we may          be able to offer you alternative activities. For more information, contact the We Dig the Castle team at Trent & Peak Archaeology We Dig the Castle, Trent & Peak Archaeology, 1 Holly Lane, Chilwell, Nottingham, NG9 4AB nottinghamcastle@yorkat.co.uk   /   0115 8967400 *Online booking and payment coming soon*