I spent the afternoon photographing departmental students and local community volunteers digging in Castleton, Derbyshire. Castleton Historical Society and the University have spent the last four years searching for the remains of the medieval hospital that was founded on the edge of the village in the 12th century AD. Undergraduate students, residents of Castleton and volunteers from further afield have worked alongside each other in trenches, test pits and geophysical survey grids trying to track the hospital down.
Despite the location being scheduled as an ancient monument the hospital has been difficult to find. Definite proof for the hospital – walls and pottery from the right date – have eluded the archaeologists. So far.
This year they have exposed a plastered wall, discovered from medieval pottery, though later than the hospital’s foundation, and two human skulls outside a wall. They may be edging closerto saying where the hospital is, though there is still ambiguity over what these remains and finds are from.