A New Building Found at Cresswell Pele Tower

Building 3 wall foundation found during the 2018 excavations. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020
Building 4 discovered during the 2018 excavation. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020
The foundations of Building 8 found during a watching brief in 2020. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020

Recently we’ve been monitoring drainage works at the Cresswell Pele Tower site during the tower’s restoration. While observing the excavation of a trench on the tower’s south-west side we came across the foundations of a small, rectangular, stone-founded lean-to outbuilding. Two similar out-buildings were encountered on the tower’s south-east side during the excavations in 2018 and the new building is likely to be contemporary with them.

The two previous lean-to buildings have been dated to the 17th century and are thought to have been used for storage or as workshops. The new building would have had a small internal area and would therefore likely have also been used for storage or as a small work space. Only a maximum of two courses of the wall were visible in the trench but it had been constructed using dressed sandstone blocks and bonded with lime mortar. The drainage trench in which the wall was found did not need to be dug any deeper and so the wall was covered with a protective sheet and the hole was backfilled. While it is unfortunate that no dating evidence or artefacts to tell us what the building was used for were found, it is exciting nonetheless to have uncovered yet another piece of the tower’s interesting and complex history.

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