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Archaeology Dig at Sudeley Castle

Winchcombe, Cheltenham GL54 5JD
Date and Time
19 - 27 October 2023
From £100.00

We’re crowdfunding a dig to unearth archaeology fit for a Queen at Sudeley Castle. Help us reach our goal and you’ll have the amazing opportunity to take part in the dig itself – online, or in the field!

There are important historical ruins buried in the grounds of Sudeley Castle; ruins that hold clues about Thomas Seymour and his love for Queen Catherine Parr, proof of a temporary palace built for Elizabeth I, traces of the power that upheld the Tudor throne, and evidence for the final destruction of Winchombe Abbey.

To uncover these stories and create exciting new knowledge about the Tudors, we’re running a two-week public dig. What new secrets will we reveal at Sudeley Castle? Help us reach our goal and you’ll have the opportunity to take part in the dig itself, and to see the results online.

What we’re looking for

This will be our fifth excavation at Sudeley Castle, where we started trying to unpick the mystery location of a temporary Tudor banqueting house, that was the site of a famous party enjoyed by Elizabeth I. As the dig progressed, the question emerged: is this actually part of the impressive updates Thomas Seymour commissioned for his marriage to the Dowager Queen, Catherine Parr in 1547?

We’ve already unearthed traces of a feast, the centrepiece of the Tudor garden, perimeter walls, and medieval stone carvings from the medieval ruins of Winchcombe Abbey. Now it’s time to dig deeper and find out even more.

We’ll continue our search for evidence of Elizabeth I’s three-day party, and unearth new details of the Tudor gardens. It’s delicate archaeology, and we’ll have to scour the trenches for the evidence we need: paths, seeds, botany, ceramics, coins, bones, or any kind of dateable evidence that can help us to unravel the story of this long-lost ruin.

Join us – on site!

We’ll run a two-week public excavation to continue the search for evidence of Elizabeth I’s visit, and unearth new details of the Tudor garden. You’ll have the amazing opportunity to take part in the dig itself, our friendly team will be on-hand to guide your search for evidence.

We’ll teach you all the basic skills that field archaeologists use on a dig: how to excavate, how to recognise new archaeological layers, how to identify ancient artefacts, and how to record what you find. If you’re with us for longer, you’ll get to use more advanced skills too, like geophysics, photogrammetry, or investigating more complex archaeological features.

We’ll also make sure that all of the discoveries from the dig are freely available to examine online, and that they make a real contribution to knowledge about the Tudors through our work and collaboration with other experts in the field.

By the end, you’ll be heading home having experienced what it’s really like to be an archaeologist, and part of a team who are making groundbreaking new discoveries about the past. It’s good, clean, fun!

Join us – online

We know that not everyone can join the dig in person, and that lots of you want to be part of the action from a disctance.

Alongside the dig, we’ll host a series of interactive online events so that you can explore the site and meet our team.

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re part of a team who are making groundbreaking new discoveries and creating new opportunities for people to enjoy archaeology, this is your chance to make that happen.

Event organiser is DigVentures.

Disclaimer: All information was correct when the listing was prepared. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.

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