Tony: Somewhere underneath all this scaffolding are the remains of Codnor Castle here in Derbyshire. The medieval knights who lived here fought in just about every battle from the Crusades to Agincourt, to the Wars of the Roses. But nobody knows exactly what it looked like. This is the earliest picture we have of it, but that's 18th century, after it had fallen to rack and ruin. Now though the castle's about to get a facelift, which gives us the opportunity to find out what it looked like, how old it was, and whether it was a defensive fortress or more of a medieval show home.

Tony: John, what are the chances of survival here, and I don't just mean the archaeology?

Neil: We've done a radar survey out over there, and we think the moat's about nine metres wide. What we're going to do is excavate a trench further up there.

Tony: Nine metres? (turns and begins walking the measure). That's about, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 , 8, 9 so about here?

Neil: No, no that's short metres, you must have short legs, it's way out to here, now that's a hell of a distance isn't it?

Tony: That's a heck of a distance.

Neil: So maybe even there's a central stone pier with perhaps a second bridge or even with a stone causeway coming off of it, now wouldn't that be great? 

Tony: That'd be a wonderful find (pause) They're not that short.

Raksha: A fantastic thing is there's this very very tiny grey area, and this is our earliest occupation layer and we've also found two pieces of pottery in there.

Tony: Oh, have you got a date Paul?

Paul: Certainly have Tony; this stuff comes from Stamford, down in Lincolnshire. They stopped making it about 1150.

Tony: You're kidding?

Paul: No really

Tony: But that is ages before the first record of there being a castle here.

Paul: Yep, they actually started making it around the time of the Norman Conquest so it could be that early in theory. 

Tony: Well that's very exciting isn't it?

Tony: (v.o.) With such a vast amount of material coming out of the moat it's important that we search the spoil heap thoroughly and this, is why.

Jonathan: My hand's shaking. 

Tony:Why's your hand shaking?

Jonathan: Gold Coin, I've found a gold hammered coin

Tony: Look at that, come here, look at that

Jonathan: I can't hold it still I'm afraid

Helen: I can't believe you're still on two feet.

Jonathan: I nearly fell over then. I'm just shaking

Helen: You need to sit down and have a nice strong cup of tea.

Tony: And it's a big one too isn't it?

Helen: Given how soft gold is and how big it is, it's absolutely quite incredible. 

Tony: Ok, let us all calm down for a moment, what do we do with it?

Helen: What we do is we clean it up, which is a pretty simple process because gold doesn't corrode and it's in such a fantastic condition we'll be able to get a good date off of it.


Time Team Castle reconstruction