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Castle in Gloucester Prison: 12th Century Structure Rivaled Tower of London

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By    |   Wednesday, 09 Dec 2015 09:09 AM

A huge castle wall has been discovered underneath a Gloucester prison in England and experts believe the structure dating back to the 12th century could have rivaled the Tower of London.

The Norman castle was found as archaeologists were investigating the prison, which closed in March 2013 and was purchased by the City of Gloucester and the Country Group, ahead of planned redevelopment, the BBC reported.

Archaeologist Neil Holbrook that the castle was demolished in 1787 and the walls had "never been seen in the last 200 years."

"I am surprised by what we found," he told the Gloucester Citizen. "I knew there was a castle but I had expected more of it to have been destroyed."

The Citizen said the castle was "similar to the Tower of London," and its remains were found underneath a basketball court at the Gloucester prison. Other castle portions are likely hidden under other buildings at the site, according to the newspaper.

The forgotten castle was built of stone and housed three chapels, two drawbridges, and a royal chamber for both the king and queen, according to Southwest Business. Holbrook said its designed would have resembled Canterbury Cathedral as well as the Tower of London.

"It would have been a powerful symbol of Norman architecture," he said. "As you came to Gloucester you would have seen the Cathedral and the castle, which is representative of how important the city was in Norman Britain."

The found keep wall was 12 feet wide and the keep, or fortified tower, itself was estimated to have been 30 meters long and 20 meters across, according to Southwest Business.

"It is a real treat to be lucky enough to see the keep for the first time since 1790," said Richard Graham, Gloucester's member of Parliament. "The quality of the walls that they have uncovered is fantastic. We are still uncovering our history in Gloucester and this is another reminder of the rich heritage that the city has."

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A huge castle wall has been discovered underneath a Gloucester prison in England and experts believe the structure dating back to the 12th century could have rivaled the Tower of London.
castle, gloucester, prison, tower, london
331
2015-09-09
Wednesday, 09 Dec 2015 09:09 AM
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