First of two surveys completed to reveal castle’s hidden secrets

A week long ground penetrating radar survey was carried out last week at Sleaford Castle as part of a project to raise its profile. EMN-200120-152900001
A week long ground penetrating radar survey was carried out last week at Sleaford Castle as part of a project to raise its profile. EMN-200120-152900001

Sleaford Castle Heritage Group is making good progress with their project to research and raise the profile of the town’s largely overlooked medieval monument.

The group is overseeing the project on behalf of Sleaford Town Council which owns the site, and is made up of council and local civic trust members.

The project has funded a full scale geophysical survey of the site, taking place last week, to build on the restricted, but tantalising, survey work that was carried out last June.

The group had realised that before embarking on plans for promoting the castle field as part of Sleaford’s heritage attractions, there had to be a better understanding of what remains of the 12th century fortification after it was dismantled for building materials several hundred years ago.

Drone aerial photographic work on the site was carried out during the dry August of 2018, providing useful images.

A small scale geophysical survey was then carried out last June, as part of an educational programme with local school students, led by Heritage Lincolnshire’s Archaeological Project Services. Anthony Brand from the castle group said the survey covered the Great Barn, the southern section of the bailey and some wall and footing remains.

This led to a full, ground penetrating radar survey being completed throughout last week, believed to be the first time such a full, high definition GPR survey has been conducted on the castle.

Coun Brand said: “This form of survey is not unduly affected by the wet conditions on the ground and just as well, because the southern part of the moat had more water in it than we have seen for some time.”

They will do a full resistivity survey during the school half term, from February 17 when interested students will be welcome to go and see it taking place and take part.

After several weeks of analysis, they hope to hold a seminar to evaluate and discuss the results in April or May with input from experts and the two local universities.

Garry Titmus, chairman of the Civic Trust, said they hope to share their findings with the public during September’s Heritage Open Days events and eventually carry out an archaeological dig on site.