UK news in brief: from meadows to monuments

A round-up of some of the latest archaeology news from around the UK.

Winchester’s medieval well?

The remains of what might be a medieval well were recently discovered during the excavation of a site on Upper Brook Street, Winchester, by Pre-Construct Archaeology. Although research is ongoing, the construction appears to have been circular, with a timber-lined base and evidence of an outer stone lining higher up, closer to ground level.

Photo: PCA Ltd

Commenting on the discovery, Paul McCulloch, from Pre-Construct Archaeology, asked: ‘Is it a well, though? Or a latrine? The basal deposits were sampled and we’ll see what their analysis reveals. They were waterlogged and are likely to contain well-preserved organics. The waterlogged conditions also mean the wooden lining is very well preserved: several planks were recovered, along with other wooden material including a section of wattle, perhaps from a fence or lining.’

New scheduled monument for Wales

Llys Rhosyr, in Anglesey, was once an important court of the medieval princes of Gwynedd and is the only one with remains that can still be visited by the public. Because of this cultural significance, it was recently granted scheduled status and has become the 131st monument to be directly looked after by Cadw.

Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sports, said: ‘I’m delighted that we’ve been able to purchase this significant site in Welsh history. Cadw will now start work to ensure the site is properly conserved and accessible for all to appreciate.’

A hundred new meadows across England

To commemorate the coronation of Charles III, English Heritage has pledged to enhance and create 100 meadows in properties under their care, from Stonehenge to the Jewel Tower in Westminster. In partnership with the charity Plantlife, English Heritage hopes to work with local communities to help establish more biodiverse spaces.

Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, commented on the initiative: ‘The King’s coronation is a significant moment in history and we wanted to mark it in a meaningful way… We’re creating more natural spaces at the heart of our historic properties, ensuring that wildflowers and wildlife can flourish there once again, and helping our visitors to step back into history and experience something with which the sites’ historic occupants would have been familiar.’