1870 Robert Woollett purchased the house and castle grounds from
John Jenkins. Eight years later he conducted one of the most extraordinary
excavations to have taken place locally … he tunnelled a distance
of fifty feet (16m) into the mound! To view the full notes he
made click here.
local told Woollett that sixty years earlier a portion of the
soil on the side of the mound slipped away to reveal an iron door
and steps leading downwards … Many of the local people had a strange
story to relate about the mound; one reckoned that (after a night
at the pub) he had been taken inside the mound and had seen King
Arthur's men, asleep. To satisfy his own curiosity and to silence
the 'Village Gossips', Woollett decided to tunnel into the mound.
He chose a spot some six feet (2m) above the level of the surrounding
ground to start the excavation. This was where the iron door was
thought to be (and in line with the two towers
found by Lee). 'Time
Team' eat your heart out!
iron door was located!
first few feet of earth was not very compact and was judged to
be comparatively recent.
after that, pottery and tiles with LEG II AVG stamped on them
a distance of twenty seven feet (9m) they met a wall - this they
followed until they had progressed fifty feet (16m), it seemed
to continue, they stopped! Around the wall they found NO Roman
concluded that the outer shell was recent; the mound consisted
of earth and Roman debris piled on top of an older (pre Roman)
If you haven't
already done so, read the original account!