digCastle Mill

Thanks to two community archaeological digs which took place in October 2022 and March 2023, we have uncovered some fascinating historical finds on the area near to Holloway in the Castle Grounds. The site is known to have housed an historical mill potentially dating back to the Medieval period.

The dig project, ‘Revealing Castle Mill’, took place thanks to funding from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and was led by archaeologist William Mitchell, a lecturer in Archaeology at Staffordshire University.

Archaeologists were looking for the survival of any key historical remains that could shed further light upon the early development of Tamworth and the mill.

These free events were open to the public to view and help with the checking process, plus school groups were able to book a visit too. The team were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response from hundreds of members of the public and were joined every day by crowds of adults and children, all keen to help uncover the hidden history beneath our feet.

illustration of Tamworth Castle and Mill. G. Samual 1798Amongst the exciting finds the foundations of the castle mill were again revealed, exposing evidence of where the wheel would have been. Other items uncovered included a wide range of glass, ceramics, animal bones, buttons and a knife. These will be cleaned and fully documented by Staffordshire University students.

William Mitchell, Lead Archaeologist said:” Our second dig revealing the Tamworth Mill has been very successful and well received by all. We had an overwhelming turn out from the public, plus six school classes assisted in the digging.

“Excitingly, the well-preserved remains of the 18th century water-wheel pit was exposed, confirming that there is excellent survival of the mill foundations. Above this we recovered lots of Edwardian artefacts, thrown in after the mill was demolished. This dig has again shown the potential for this type of archaeological project in bringing varied groups together and taking learning out into our community.”

Will Mitchell

Revealing Castle Mill talk 

On Tuesday 18 July 2023, William Mitchell gave a talk about the project and findings so far. You can view the slides from the presentation here.