WISBECH: Archaeologists get �50,000 from Lottery Fund to shed light on Wisbech Castle

ARCHAEOLOGISTS hope to shed light on a little known feature of Wisbech Castle, thanks to a grant of almost �50,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant made to Cambridgeshire County Council will enable archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology East to dis

ARCHAEOLOGISTS hope to shed light on a little known feature of Wisbech Castle, thanks to a grant of almost �50,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The grant made to Cambridgeshire County Council will enable archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology East to discover the lost Bishop's Palace which occupied the town centre site from 1478 until 1656.

The palace, built by Bishop Morton, later Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England, was enlarged and modified by subsequent Bishop's of Ely. Its most important claim to fame was its use as a prison for Roman Catholics from 1580. For over 30 years, priests and other Roman Catholics were held at the Palace.

Whilst it is known that the Palace was built of brick with facings of Ketton stone, its size, layout and exact location are unknown. It is hoped that detailed investigation and archaeological excavation will provide some answers.


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The County Council's Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Fred Yeulett, said: "We are delighted with this award. The town originated on our site and this project will greatly enhance knowledge of our history and enable local people, particularly all local schoolchildren to be closely involved."

Local schoolchildren and community groups will be able to visit the site during the excavation which will take place in September. The project will also involve the Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Cambridgeshire Libraries, Cambridgeshire Education Information Technology and The Wisbech Society.

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obyn Llewellyn, the Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, East of England, said: "This is a fantastic project which will allow people to try their hand at something new and at the same time learn more about this historic site in Wisbech. We're committed to funding projects that every community can take pride in and learn about their local heritage.

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