ARTEFACTS have been discovered from the Battle of Worcester which is the first time archaeologists have been able to pinpoint where the battle took place.

Musket balls, horse harness fittings, horseshoes and belt buckles are among the artefacts that have been found at a construction site in Powick.

Historians have always known the area was the site of the final battle of the Civil War, but no actual physical evidence had ever been found and recovered until this find.

Richard Bradley, onsite lead archaeologist said: “It is fantastic to be able to finally locate and map physical remains of the battle and to relate this to the historical record.

“We are just outside the registered battlefield area, but this is still a nationally significant site.” Mr Bradley added: “The construction work has given us the opportunity to investigate the floodplain across which thousands of infantry and cavalry engaged, and to get down to the level where artefacts were deposited.

“Many of the lead musket and pistol balls show evidence of firing or impact and these tangible signs of the conflict offer a poignant connection to the soldiers who fought and died here.”


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There’s shot damage on the nearby church tower at Powick and Powick Bridge was reportedly the location of intense fighting.

Archaeologists examined the land using specialist methods, where they soon began to find evidence of the battle.

The artefacts were buried deep at the bottom of a river valley, covered by flood deposits accumulated over hundreds of years since the battle.

Derek Hurst, project archaeological consultant said: “For the first time we have been able to pinpoint the buried Civil War horizon within the flood silts built up across the flood plain – and the key to this has been special scientific investigation of the flood silts using optically stimulated luminescence.

“The results from this have enabled us to focus our efforts quite precisely which has meant much tine saving and so saving on costs, as well as getting a brilliant archaeological outcome.”

The artefacts from the battle of 1651 have been discovered at the site, which is part of an infrastructure project being delivered by Worcestershire County Council to dual between M5 and Powick roundabout.

Part of the scheme involves the building of a flood compensation area and, as part of the programme works, archaeologists from the council were given the opportunity to explore the land for any potential find.

The objects found will now be analysed and recorded.

The archaeology teams were supported in their work by the contractor, Alun Griffiths, using engineering equipment which was on site.

To ensure there was no disruption to plans, the project team ensured the timetable for completion joined with the dig.

Worcester was at the centre of the Civil War and divided by the divisions of the country faced at the time.

Richard Shaw, chairman of the Battle of Worcester Society said: “How exciting that 368 years after the Battle of Worcester these artefacts should be discovered.

“Parliamentary forces had crossed the river at Upton-upon-Severn and were driving the Royalists back to Worcester, the discoveries really bring the events of that day to life.”

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member with responsibility for communities added: “Finding these fascinating artefacts allows us to connect with a significant moment in Worcestershire’s history.

“Preserving our history is vitally important to our county and this latest dig is a shining example of how archaeology can bring our past to life.”