Defence

Very little new archaeological data has been gathered on Post-Medieval defences since 2006, and whilst some artefacts recorded by the Portable Antiquities have been identified as relics from the Civil War, there is still considerable potential for further research on identifying siege works, town defences, castle adaptations, minor battles and skirmishes deriving from this conflict, and the series of uprisings that occurred between 1688 and 1746 known collectively as the Jacobite rebellions. A rare example of archaeological levels that have been dated to the English Civil War can be drawn from excavations within the courtyard at Lancaster Castle in 2018, where a deposit containing musket balls, fragments of 17th-century pottery and stone chippings were uncovered, possibly representing a construction phase associated with the castle’s Civil War defences.

Physical evidence for a skirmish during the Jacobite retreat of 1745 was recovered from an excavation close to the site of the ‘Rebels Tree’ at Clifton, near Penrith (C). This evidence included musket balls and a token of possible 18th-century date, although whilst it is reputed that some of those killed during the battle were buried at the site, no graves were identified (Jackson 2016).

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