Taunton Castle, Somerset: Excavations and building studies, 2004-2013

Chris Webster, 2018

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Chris Webster (2018) Taunton Castle, Somerset: Excavations and building studies, 2004-2013 [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1048366


Taunton Castle, Somerset: Excavations and building studies, 2004-2013

Work, prompted by improvements to the museum housed in the Bishop of Winchester's castle, led to several seasons of small research excavations and culminated in excavations and recording during the major refit to produce The Museum of Somerset in 2009. This was accompanied by building recording of exposed and uncovered fabric, consideration of historical sources such as the Winchester pipe rolls and antiquarian records.

The work showed that the cemetery that is known to underlie the castle started in the late 7th-century as Somerset was incorporated into Wessex and that there is at least one and probably two significant phases of the early castle that are not represented in the standing structure. Finds were noticeably rare for a high-status site but Taunton's location away from the main area of activity of the bishops (Winchester-Southwark) may explain this. The post-medieval use of the castle for judicial business was also considered as well as the changes implemented by the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society following their acquisition of the site in the 1870s.