Remains of Bristol's Royal Fort finally brought to light (UK)

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Archaeologists from Bristol’s Museum and Art Gallery, working in advance of redevelopment at the University of Bristol, have uncovered the remains of one of the most significant fortifications from the English Civil War (1642-53): the Royal Fort, located on a hill overlooking the City of Bristol.

For many years, considerable doubt has surrounded the Fort’s exact location, as it was largely destroyed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the few remains that survived were turned into landscape gardens by Humphry Repton in 1804.

The University conducted excavations in 2001 but the Fort’s five main bastions and ditches were not located. Now, as a result of an eight-week excavation on the summit of St Michael’s Hill by the Bristol’s Museum and Art Gallery archaeologists, a defence ditch around two bastions and possibly the foundations for a fortification wall have been found.

Bruce Williams, Manager of Bristol and Region Archaeological Services (BaRAS) who directed the project said: “Bristol played a prominent role in the English Civil War although the legacy of this is not so apparent within the modern cityscape. In addition to the remains of the Royal Fort, it is delightful to find distinguishing objects such as cannonballs that can without doubt be attributed to the Civil War period.”

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