Underground tunnel discovered by archaeologists at Lincoln Castle
A PREVIOUSLY unknown underground tunnel has been discovered at Lincoln Castle.
Archaeologists uncovered the medieval structure during exploratory work at ground level prior to the installation of a lift that would take people on to the castle walls.
The tunnel, which is linked to a circular room or structure, was uncovered by Lincoln Cathedral archaeologist Dr Philip Dixon and is fast becoming the talk among archaeologists and history buffs.
County archaeologist Beryl Lott described it as an exciting and unique discovery.
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She said: "There are no other known surviving remains of medieval structures within the castle bailey.
"These excavations have discovered the remains of a substantial stone building with a circular interior, possibly the remains of a stairwell or room below the current ground level of the castle bailey.
"The room is accessed by a doorway, which leads into a tunnel in the direction of the central bailey area.
"Provisionally, it is suspected the structure may be as early as the 12th century and indicate one of the first buildings within the medieval castle.
"The ongoing proposals for the work at the castle include the provision of a lift shaft and staircase to give enhanced access to the wall walks.
"In order to achieve this, Dr Dixon has been excavating in the castle yard to determine whether there are any underlying archaeological features that might need to be taken into account in the design of these features."
The castle was built in 1068 – just two years after the Norman invasion.
Solicitor Nigel Burn, 59, a tour guide at the castle, said the discovery was amazing.
He said: "Certainly, any trace of the early castle is fascinating.
"The archaeology of the castle is pretty complex and there is much more to discover."
Archaeologist Richard Pullen, 38, said the building was a great find.
"This could add a lot to what is already known about the castle," said Mr Pullen, who lives in North Scarle, near Lincoln.
"If you're going to find anything undisturbed like that in Lincoln it's going to be underneath the castle.