Essex

Saffron Walden Castle had foundations plundered

An archaeologist takes a measurement at the 12th Century Saffron Walden Castle
Image caption An archaeologist takes a measurement at the 12th Century Saffron Walden Castle

Archaeologists carrying out tests at an Essex castle have discovered some of its foundations were plundered.

Now a ruin and scheduled ancient monument, Saffron Walden Castle dates back to the 12th Century.

Uttlesford District Council requested an archaeological survey prior to repair works to the eroded walls.

But after three separate trenches were dug it emerged the foundations had been taken - most likely by people in the 16th Century.

'Stone quarry'

Image caption Brick piers will be put into the walls to stabilise the castle

Archaeologist Trevor Ennis from University College London said although the larger walls were still sitting on their foundations, material had been taken from parts of the site.

"Once the building became a ruin it becomes like a standing stone quarry," he said.

"We were looking for the old foundations for the walls but we never found them."

Brick piers will be put into the walls to support and stabilise the castle.

The piers will be covered in flint to match existing masonry.

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