Berkeley Castle Project 2015; Trench 19 and Test Pits 5, 6 and 7

Gareth Dickinson, Stuart Prior

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


In May 2015, the Berkeley Castle Project, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol, undertook excavation work within the grounds of Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire. The primary aim of the excavation was to test the hypothesis that the present Thorpe Tower was once part of a square or rectangular donjon, or keep, related to a Norman defensive phase of the castle. As such, one trench, Trench 19, was opened directly north of the western-most bastion of the Thorpe Tower. A second test pit, Test Pit 7, was excavated immediately east of Trench 19, on the opposite side of a 19th century garden wall. The alignment of construction cut [1916], structure [1912] associated with it, and robber trench [1908] corresponds well with the east facing elevation of Thorpe Tower and strongly suggests a wall once projected from in a northward direction from this elevation, possibly a Norman donjon tower.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyBerkeley Castle Charitable Trust
Number of pages31
Publication statusUnpublished - May 2015


  • Berkeley Castle
  • Donjon
  • Archaeology
  • Excavation


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