Time Team (1994) s18e07 Episode Script

Series 18, Episode 7

If there's one thing Time Team's taught me, it's that people's homes and gardens can contain some pretty amazing archaeology.
And they don't come any better than this.
See this wall here? That is medieval.
And that tower there? That is part of a 15th-century brick manor house.
0h, yeah, and that hump there? That is the remains of a Norman castle.
But what's even more extraordinary is that all these buildings, which span over six centuries of history, were once owned by the same extraordinary family.
Which include a Norman lord who fought at the Battle of Hastings, and later a queen of medieval England.
So our task in three days is to recreate six centuries' worth of posh residences.
Just hope we're still standing at the end of it! voor bierdopje.
com Groby 0ld Hall lies in Leicestershire, three miles from Leicester.
And, to my mind, it's an archaeological theme park.
There's an 18th-century farmhouse graced with the ruins of a magnificent 15th-century brick manor.
While in the garden, medieval masonry rubs shoulders with a huge mound, or motte - the remnants of a Norman castle.
That's a classic motte, ain't it? Just that big mound of dirt.
And then there's a big old bank out here, look.
0h, yeah.
There's a lot here and it's all the more tantalising to us as no-one knows what these buildings originally looked like or when they were built.
Even more amazingly, Groby was in danger of being lost for ever until it was rescued by some new owners.
How long have you owned this place, Paul? How long have you owned this place, Paul? Just over a year.
Looking at it quite closely, it's not in the greatest of nick, is it? I must admit, when we first came across it, it was boarded up all round, really.
And my brother, who's a carpenter and glazier, he glazed 63 panes of glass the day we moved in.
The copper pipe was stolen, the place was trashed and a couple of fires had been started inside as well.
You're a farmer? You're a farmer? I am Indeed, yeah.
Tim, you were looking after it on behalf of the nation.
You must have been nervous.
Absolutely.
Every time we came out, it had deteriorated further.
And I became more anxious we were going to lose it to fire.
And so when Paul turned up and he said he worked for the fire service, it was a perfect potential buyer.
What would you like us to find out? There's a lot of historic fabric that you can see.
The house, the motte, the other fragments of wall sticking up.
There's a story here about this very wealthy family who made and remade the place they lived.
If there's one part of your fantastic property that you'd like us to bring to life, what would it be? It would be the motte.
I'd love to know what's underneath the motte.
It'd be great to know if there's anything underneath.
Let's look under the motte! Mick? Paul and Tim asked a pretty simple question.
Can we sort out their garden? But, from your point of view, that's quite complex, isn't it? I don't know if it's complicated.
It's quite a lot to go at.
You know, because we know there's stuff down there.
We've got the motte here, other earthworks down there.
I suspect there's stuff beyond.
Sort of minor chaos going on behind you.
There's Jimmy trying to wheel the geo-phys up and down the hill.
We've got all this stuff being cut.
Lurking in the background, there's Phil hacking away.
Doing a bit of gardening.
Have you decided where to put the first trench? I think we're bound to start with the motte.
This is the mound of the original castle.
Earlier excavations show that there's a stone tower.
This would've been the sort of strong point of the castle.
Next to the motte would have been the bailey and in there would have been the hall, the kitchen, the stables, the outbuildings - the living area of the castle.
So you reckon the bailey will be down here somewhere? That way, because that's where the later castle, the surviving building is.
So the logic is to start here because it's the earliest and gradually work our way out? That's right.
And what we'll get, I think, is at least three phases of building of this castle site.
I hope we don't find the bailey's in that direction cos, if it is, we'll have to dig up the motorway.
So, to launch our attack on this fantastic site, we're starting with what we think was the home of Groby's first residents, the Normans.
Geo-phys have started to survey the top of the motte to see if they can pick up any evidence of that original castle.
But Phil's already ahead of the game as he thinks he's found our first glimpse of it just down the slope.
There's a big stone there.
Well, you know what they say, Phil.
"0ne stone's a stone, two stones a Norman castle.
" 0r, in my neck of the woods, "Two stones is just a couple of stones.
" But this does look promising, and the perfect place to open our first trench to see if we do have part of the Norman castle and evidence of the Norman family that owned Groby for centuries.
A family so powerful that a best-selling novelist has devoted years of research to them.
Fundamentally, this is owned by the Grey family, pretty well from the time that the first Grey arrives as a companion of William of Normandy in 1066.
They stay here pretty well till the 20th century.
Is that connected with Lady Jane Grey? 0h, exactly.
As it comes down you can see they make some absolutely fantastic marriages.
Here we've got the daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, various lords and the Duke of Norfolk there.
Sir John Grey marries Elizabeth Woodville and she goes on, after his death, to marry Edward IV, the King of England.
They're at the very top of a very, very competitive heap.
Talking of the top of the heap, Phil's found his initial couple of stones are turning into a considerable pile of stones.
But are they our first evidence of the Grey family? Phil, have you got anywhere yet? Too right we have, Tony.
We have got the remains of the stone building on the motte.
If I show you on the geo-physics, here is the stone building on the top of the motte and our trench is exactly here.
And we've got the wall here! There is the leading edge of it.
The outside face of the wall is coming out into this quarried area and in that direction it's filling up most of the side of the trench.
Well, that's a promising start.
Well, that's a promising start.
But it gets better than that, Tony! You know there were some excavations done in the '60s on top of the motte there? We've got photographs of a trench.
That trench is right on the top of the mound.
Look how wonderful this set of stone steps is leading down into the motte.
So that should be under there somewhere? All that material is right on the top of the motte.
This is not this material here, this is not this wall.
This is a totally separate excavation that they did in the '60s.
That's extraordinary! I thought we'd be trying to find out how high this tower went.
It now seems we're going to be looking at how deep it went as well.
This is turning out to be rather a good dig.
Afternoon of day one here at Groby in Leicestershire, where we're looking at some of the most fascinating and complex archaeology you can imagine anyone having in their back garden.
It spans over 600 years of English history, starting with this little hillock, which is actually the motte of a Norman motte and bailey castle.
Now I'd have imagined that we would put in a couple of little trenches up the top somewhere but, in fact, Phil is now attempting to get right inside it, because we believe we've got evidence of a hidden stairway.
So what have we got here, Jimmy? Well, this is the radar data and we've got the slices here getting gradually deeper into the ground.
And so you can see that, at the eastern end of the platform, we've got what looks like three sides of a tower but with the north edge missing, going down the slope somewhere.
And where is our staircase, Mick? That must be somewhere on this side, somewhere down here.
What do you reckon's going on? What do you reckon's going on? Well, It's IntriguIng cos It You know Is it a tower that's on top of the motte? 0r a tower that's within the motte? You mean they could've put a tower on top of the motte and then stairs going on inside it and built some sort of cellar? A cellar or something like that.
0r is it a tower that's there already and they've piled the clay around it so the tower sticks out at the top? If it's the second of those two Yeah.
Yeah.
.
.
and we know that the motte and bailey's Norman, then presumably the tower would be earlier, possibly even late Saxon? Yeah, but where Phil's digging there, we should get that wall coming out in relation to the clay of the mound on the outside and any fill inside, so quite which version of that we should understand eventually.
So there's still a lot to play for.
Well, this certainly raises the game.
A tower and staircase buried deep into the ground but not necessarily Norman.
And I thought 600 years of buildings was enough to contend with.
But at least Phil's certain how to rise - or should I say descend - to the challenge.
We are desperately keen to get to the bottom of the wall.
We must get to the bottom of it.
For this trench to have any value at all, we have to get to the bottom of that wall.
Right, everyone clear? We've got to get to the bottom of the wall.
That way, we should be able to find out if the tower was here first and the motte was built around it, or if the motte came first then the tower plonked on top.
0n most Time Teams, that would be a big enough challenge to keep us going for three days.
But we've also got a 15th-Century manor house and a medieval wall here to get to grips with.
And Mick thinks the key to all that is the bailey, which he believes would have surrounded the motte.
I understand what a motte is, it's the hill with the big building on the top.
Butwhat's a bailey? Well, a bailey's the enclosure next to it.
There's our motte, look.
And these ditches and banks here I think are part of the bailey.
This building is probably inside it, probably comes up to the road and then back somewhere like that.
And it's defined by a bank and ditch round the outside.
The inside would have things like the hall, the pantry and buttery, kitchen, barns and stables.
We know there was a chapel.
All the structures that were supporting the people living in the castle.
If this structure here is part of the main hall, then that building over there might well be the replacement for that as it's upgraded in the 15th, 16th Century.
0ne of the things we need to do is to geophys this field in front of us, see where the other walls of this structure are, see if it looks like a hall, pop a trench in and see if we can date it.
So geophys begin to survey the field in front of the motte for any evidence of the buildings Mick would expect to find in a bailey.
And crucially, whether this standing wall once formed part of a Great Hall.
At the same time, Stewart's scouring the garden for evidence of the banks and ditches which would have surrounded these buildings, forming the perimeter of the bailey.
And what makes this so exciting for me is that we've got a real chance to put people in any buildings we do find, because we do know that they were all built by one extraordinary family, the Greys.
This is Hugh Grentmesnil, who comes over to England with William of Normandy as part of the invading army.
Wins at the Battle of Hastings and is rewarded by William, who now makes himself William I of England, with an enormous grant of land, which includes Groby.
Have we any idea what sort of man he was? Well, we know when they excavated him he was five foot eight, so was actually amazingly tall for the time.
And there's a great story about him at the Battle of Hastings.
This comes from a contemporary source, someone called Wace.
"A vassal from Grentmesnil," which is our Hugo, "was that day in great peril.
"His horse ran away with him so that he was near falling, "for in leaping over a bush, the bridle rein broke "and the horse plunged forward.
"The English", the enemy of course, "seeing him, "ran to meet him with their hatchets raised but the horse took fright "and turning quickly round, brought him safely back again.
" He was obviously in the cavalry, he was out in the forefront and he survived.
Did he actually live here? We know that he fortified here and he created a base here for himself.
We actually know that because after the death of William of Normandy, he doesn't support the nominated heir, William Rufus, but supports William's older son.
And so he has to build up the castle, he fortifies it and he builds up the walls, expecting trouble.
He himself had to go into exile after rebelling against the King.
But he was allowed back into England and he actually died here.
But it was his wish that he be buried abroad and so they embalmed him as it were, in salt, which was a perfectly reasonable way of doing it, wrapped him in ox hide and shipped him to France so he could be laid to rest where he wanted.
So our Norman Hugo certainly fortified our castle at Groby, but did he actually build it from scratch or did he just refurbish an earlier building when he was given the land after the Battle of Hastings? And as Phil continues to dig down to get to the bottom of it and, yep, to the bottom of his wall Three courses we got there now.
.
.
Tracey's opened a new trench in front of the motte.
Because we've located another building in what we hope is the castle's bailey.
So what we're doing here, Paul, is just having a look on the basis of the radar for what we think the rest of this building is that you've got a wall here.
0K.
0K.
And It shows up quIte well, doesn't It? Well, it didn't on the resistance, in fact.
Well, it didn't on the resistance, in fact.
RIght.
I mean, all we saw was a mass of rubble and that's those high readings in black there.
and that's those high readings in black there.
RIght.
But when Jimmy did the radar, we could actually get a really clear picture of these walls.
So those will be buried below the rubble.
Let's go back to that other series.
It looked to me as if there's your existing wall, this one.
Yeah.
It looks as if we've got an end wall and a parallel wall and if you look on that one, we've got something like a projection that might be an oriel window, that's like a bay window on the side, lighting the upper end of the hall where the family would have sat.
We've picked this partly because we may see the corner and then the beginnings of that projection Right.
Right.
.
.
out In that area.
So that'll be where all the carved medieval masonry, the decorated window glass, the broken goblets, that'll all be in there.
Right, got it.
We didn't see any goblets in the radar.
We didn't see any goblets in the radar.
No.
So four o'clock, day one, and away from Planet Mick, we've now opened two trenches, hoping our latest might uncover the Great Hall within the bailey.
And in Phil's trench, the castle on top of the motte.
And Phil's finally got his first piece of dating evidence.
Ha, ha, ha.
So what you got, then? A piece of work flint.
Ahhhh! Can I come and have a look? Yeah.
What date do you reckon that is, then? I wonder if it's not early Neolithic or something like that.
When I saw that surface there, I thought it might be part of a polished axe but it's not.
It's just a flake off the outside of a piece of flint.
Still nice though.
But a hell of a lot earlier than what you're dealing with? 0h, yeah, yeah.
I mean It looks very impressive, Phil, now, doesn't it? What I've been doing, you can see here, we've got the main wall going right up through here.
Yeah.
Yeah.
What we're standIng here Is a bIg robber trench.
0h, right.
0h, right.
And you can actually see we've got this lovely, coarse stones going across all the way across to give us a nice edge to the wall coming down there.
So all this red stuff we've got here, there's mortar as well, isn't it? there's mortar as well, isn't it? That's right.
This is all the stuff bonding it together.
But, just as you've come here, look what I started to get down the bottom, here.
Look, it's starting to go a lot more clayey.
So do you think we're near the bedrock there? Well, I don't know.
You've just arrived and I've just found it.
Right.
Right.
So I don't know.
When you look at it, I mean you can see it and it's really, really impressive.
Think how much more impressive it is going to be when we get down to the bottom.
Yeah.
Yeah.
Because If that Is the old ground surface, the old land surface, that's going to run underneath this mound here.
Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, yeah.
Just think how tall that section, that wall's going to be.
So, Norman or Saxon, Phil's castle's certainly beginning to look quite substantial.
And after only a day, Stewart's efforts have paid off.
He's identified the perimeter of the bailey and, yes, we're in it.
So, huge bailey, stonking great castle, massive walls in Tracey's trench.
Roll on tomorrow.
Beginning of day two here at Groby 0ld Hall in Leicestershire where we're investigating the family homes of an extraordinary dynasty - the Greys.
And the star of the archaeology so far has got to be this man made mound and at least three metres of mediaeval wall, which we think is part of a Norman castle that Phil's excavating.
Not only that, but it seems that we're going to dig even deeper.
Phil, it's a long time since I've seen you excavate a wall that size.
This is a seriously big wall, Tony, and it's such a great thrill to get into a really deep hole.
But there's a really serious side about digging this deep hole, and that is to find out how old this wall is and how it was constructed, and the only way we can do that is to carry on digging deeper and get to the bottom of it.
Isn't that going to be dangerous? It looks like it could collapse on you.
Isn't that going to be dangerous? It looks like it could collapse on you.
No, I mean what we we've had to consider that but you can see we've already made the trench much, much wider so that effectively slopes off the sides.
It means we can go much, much deeper.
Can I walk up your terracing? You can now, but once we've cleaned 'em, you keep off of 'em.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Because that could be a lighter structure.
That's some wall, Mick.
It's fantastic, isn't it? But we have a real problem with this now.
Which is what? Which is what? Well, we've got the radar that shows a tower there.
That's Phil's trench, that's where the wall sticks out.
But we can't really relate it to the 1960's excavation.
So we can't be sure where the steps are, where the walls are.
You've got this lovely picture from the 1960's with those steps in it, but I've no idea how that relates to our beautiful wall.
We think if we put a two by two in on our best guess place, and we hit the stairs or one of the walls either side of the stairs, then we'll be able to tie in all the '60s stuff with our stuff.
So where is your best guess place? I reckon it's going to be somewhere about here.
If you line up Phil's trench down there, look.
This line here? Yeah.
We reckon that a two by two about there is our best guess to where the steps are.
But if we don't do this then we will have come here and done our work, we won't have been able to relate it to the 1960's work and it'll still be hanging in the air, you know, We need to solve this, really.
Right, and I thought this was the easy part of the site.
But it seems to be more a mountain than a molehill.
We've now two days left to build up a picture of all the homes lived in by the Grey family at Groby, starting with their earliest residence, the Norman castle.
And, yes, we've got walls in the geo-phys and in our trench, but they seem to be going down and down and we just can't date them yet.
But we do know that another trench in the 1960's located a staircase.
Unfortunately we can't locate that in the ground, so we're putting in a trench to locate that trench.
Sorry, that staircase.
I don't think that's anything to write home about, but Well, no, we need a late 20th century Biro expert for that.
Now, I need to know if it's 1960's? 0h, it's a, er, choc ice, isn't it? Is that 1960's? Most of our focus so far has been on the motte of the Norman Motte and Bailey Castle.
But there's lots of other really interesting buildings here, including the 15th century brick tower and our lovely mediaeval wall.
And all this area here, we think, was probably part of the Bailey of the Motte and Bailey Castle.
So lots to sort out, which is why we've put this trench in.
And, Tracey, you've got some archaeology for us, haven't you? Hi, Tony.
Yeah, we have.
We've got this wall as you can see running up through here parallel to the standing wall behind us.
We've got two phases of wall here, we've got this granite built with the slate and yellow mortar, but then we've got this sandstone with pink mortar beside here.
Mick, do you think this wall is to do with that mediaeval wall, or to the 15th century tower, or to the bailey or what? I think yes, to all those, actually.
Thank you very much.
What do you mean? This wall looks as if it goes with that one and it's part of a late mediaeval castle.
There's probably something of the Bailey underneath here if we go further down.
But because the place goes on being developed as a late mediaeval castle, some of these walls probably tie up with the later building in the tower as well.
It's probably all those features together.
You've got some finds though? You've got some finds though? We've got lots of good stuff that shows that It's hIgh status.
The main one is it's got a very posh roof.
I've laid some of the stone roof tiles out, these are swizzle and slate, the local material.
Now you put the big un's by the eaves and as they work up the roof they get smaller and then along the ridge, you see, these tiles are arranged and they look like a coxcomb from below with these spikes on the top.
So it's a it's a posh high status building, this is.
What are we going to do with this trench now? 0h, carry on because the possibility is that that there are earlier structures down below.
At the moment we know the demolition of this building which is probably about 1480, 1500 and How do we know that? Because the pottery that's coming from it and the type of tiles and so on is that sort of date.
So it's like they're demolishing this, perhaps when they're building that down there.
Because we are in the Bailey, there's probably quite a depth of stratification of earlier stuff in here.
We're going to try and have a look to get some dating material from it.
The majority of the story might be under Tracey's feet? There's all to play for? That's right.
So Tracey's continuing to dig down to see if there's any evidence of earlier buildings beneath her wall.
But we also now think her wall could link up with the 14th century standing wall and, together, they would have formed two sides of a hall.
Everything lines up and, what's more, it looks high status.
But then things are never that easy on Time Team, are they? I'm not so sure that it's a Great Hall.
I'm not so sure that it's a Great Hall.
What d'you mean? It's certainly a great building, but we've expanded the survey, or at least the resistance survey and we appear to have a whole series of buildings.
A range here, a possible range there and coming back down.
So that may just be part of a much bigger complex.
That rectangle is Tracey's trench? That's right.
And this big blob is where we thought the Great Hall would be? Well, I can certainly see that all these lines here, they all respect the same alignment, don't they? They're not the higgledy-piggledy hotchpotch that Mick drew as being part of the Bailey.
No, and what I'm wondering is, you could have a formal entrance coming into this courtyard and that then would be the Great Hall, rather than that.
So what we're doing is, we're using the radar to quickly look at that area because it's actually giving us more detail than the resistance, it's seeing through the rubble.
So you're pinning all your hopes on the radar? Yeah, but the radar's just actually hit something along there that makes me think it might be a Great Hall.
Mediaeval floor tiles in a Great Hall.
Well, that tile's certainly tantalising, and having processed the radar, John's wall lines look even clearer.
D'you want to make that four metres then, initially? So we're putting in another trench to see, if this time, we have got the Great Hall.
Stop one minute here.
Pottery.
The question is, if it is the hall what on earth's the building we found in Tracey's trench? And that's not the only mystery.
We're still not sure whether Phil's wall was built by Hugo, the Norman member of the Grey family, or whether it was built earlier by the Saxons.
And we're still struggling to find out how the mysterious staircase fits in.
But at least the documents might be providing a glimmer of hope.
Philippa, these documents are absolutely fantastic.
They give what's essentially a list of rooms, it seems, and even locations of them.
So we've got a great chamber called the White Chamber with a cellar below called the Wine Cellar, apparently.
Two chambers are butting towards the north with two wardrobes and on and on.
It's almost like a kind of walkaround.
Now it's headed Assignment of Dower, but I don't know what an assignment of dower is.
What is this? Well, this refers particularly to Margaret, whose husband William de Ferrers has died.
The deal would have been, when she got married, her parents would have negotiated with the Ferrers what she would have got should he die, should he pre-decease her.
And they would've agreed the standard dower was that you got a third of your husband's lands and property and sometimes income for either your life or until the point that you married again.
Because it's a third of everything he owns, you had this really very complicated division, they're actually kind of dividing up the house.
You'd have different rooms within the same house belonging to different people? They're saying, "This room's yours, this room's yours.
" We'd go right the way down to people who owe him money and people who owe the smallest things.
Some of these her agents would collect for her.
Some of them, like a third of the house that they knew Lord Ferrers would be counting as his own house.
He'd either let her live there, she'd have a right to live there or he might pay her rent for it.
1371, this one is dated, so that's about the same date as the mediaeval wall that's still standing in the field.
So potentially we might be able to find some of these structures in the ground.
Well, you might just be right, Helen.
And we're already finding walls in Matt's trench, but it's too early yet to give any dates or say whether this is the hall.
0ver in Tracey's trench, we've now been digging for over a day and I would like to have some idea of what's going on.
Have you got any idea at all what sort of building this might be? Well, I think it's probably a chamber block and a two storey.
Why d'you say two storey? Well, it is high status, it's substantially built, but if you look at the window over there, by the door, it's only a very small window.
And what's the implication of the tiny window? Well, if you got a single storey building, high status, you'd expect to have a lot more light coming into it.
0h, I see, that implies that there must be another floor above where all the lords and ladies came.
With the windows in, yeah, the big windows, yeah.
So perhaps we can identify at least part of the home which the Greys lived in in the 14th century.
A two storey chamber block with a top floor where the lords and ladies would have slept.
And it's likely to be the White Chamber mentioned in the dowry document with a cellar below, possibly the wine cellar.
So nearly the end of day two and I think our quest to piece together the story of the Grey's homes is looking quite promising.
0h-ho, look at that! Blimey, it's quite big bits.
It's of 15th century, and probably the first half.
And whether this is the hall or not it does look as though it's the same date as Tracey's building, so we do have at least one massive building complex.
And Phil's finally got to the bottom of his castle wall.
Have you done? Too right, Tony, and it's been really, really worth it.
It's just been an exceptional trench, I don't really want to leave it.
I mean, we've known for some while about how this wall was built.
So we've got these horizontally bedded stones that make the face on this side and on that side, with this massive rubble infill and then, periodically, these levelling up courses just to stabilise the whole thing.
But the crucial thing that I wanted to know was what were the foundations like? What was it actually built on? And what's the answer? Absolutely solid bedrock.
I like to think that because this solid bedrock was here that the area may have actually been present as an upstanding knoll and that they were sufficiently good engineers or geologists to realise that this was a much more robust geology and that it would have provided good foundations for a castle.
Have you found any evidence that any of this could be Saxon? There's not a shred of evidence that it's Saxon.
I think this is one beautiful Norman castle.
So, at last we can forget the Saxons and safely say that it was Hugo who built the castle here after fighting at the Battle of Hastings.
Having cleverly identified solid ground, his builders built up courses of stonework, piling up earth around it to form the motte.
It's a great way to end a day or so I thought.
These buttresses on the radar, it's just so clear, I mean Sometimes there's no stopping these archaeologists.
But what sort of width are we talking about? But what sort of width are we talking about? Six metres.
We speculated whether this might be the chapel It's the end of day two and now we've hit onto something really quite extraordinary and very surprising.
A big house that's grander and more impressive than anything we imagined would be here.
Fingers crossed for tomorrow.
Beginning of day three here at Groby Hall in Leicestershire, the ancestral seat of the Grey family, who for over 600 years lived in some style here.
You can see this 15th-century tower there and there's the remains of a Norman castle from much earlier over there.
But last night our archaeologists came up with a building which they think was even grander and more elegant than either the tower or the castle.
What is it that's so exciting about this building? Well, I think we were trying to find out whether this was the Great Hall.
And I think what we've got now with this little sticky out bit suggests it probably is the Great Hall.
A large single storey building there with this little bit here called the oriel.
And what's an oriel? An oriel is a kind of super-duper bay window in the corner, between the hall and another wing coming at right angles to it.
It's often got a lot of windows in to light the end where the family are dining.
So this does indicate it's somewhere where people of very high status would've hung out? And this is the sort of thing that you get with a hall.
I'd expect these to be two wings of a number of wings, wouldn't you? Yes, yeah, yeah.
So there's more as well? Oh, yeah.
Well, the geo-physics shows more, look.
That's the building over that side with Tracey's trench in it, which is you know probably private rooms.
This is the hall across here with the trench we've got here.
And then there's another range, you see, making a courtyard open area in the middle.
But last night some of the archaeologists were saying that they'd identified buttresses.
Well, I don't see any buttresses? 0h, yeah, Jimmy's enhanced this area here, look, so if you look at the plan and you can see 0h, I see buttresses.
Yeah.
And the significance of buttresses as I understand it is that if you're buttressing a wall, that's because there's a lot of weight on the walls, so there's going to be something that's high status there? 0r just high status because it's got buttresses.
Probably with windows between.
It's meant to look like a cloister or something like that.
So we're going to clean all this and analyse it.
We're going to get down into the middle of the courtyard.
Yeah.
Are we going to have time to do this other wing as well I would hope so but we'll have to look at how the other trenches are doing first.
We've got less than a day left.
I know, that's the problem.
Less than a day.
Yeah, yeah.
All right, Eeyore, clear off, leave us to it.
I'll screw his neck one day, I really will.
0K then.
So two great trenches in the bailey but I just hope we've got time to deal with all the archaeology.
We've not only got to investigate a palatial residence and possibly earlier buildings beneath it, but also our motte.
Although thankfully our granddaddy of digging, Phil, has uncovered the missing stairs.
But weirdly they just don't seem to be going anywhere.
0h, jigger, I don't understand it.
Let's keep going.
There's obviously still plenty of work to do.
But, this being Time Team, we've decided to open yet another trench to see if we've got buttresses, and if the potential hall building is as magnificent as geo-phys suggests.
If it is, it really goes to show how important those Greys were.
I know how fascinated you are by the Greys, but have you got a favourite? Well, my big favourite is Elizabeth Woodville who is married into the Grey family.
She gets married in about 1452 and she marries Sir John Grey and they have two boys.
But when the Wars of the Roses start, he volunteers and he goes to fight for Lancaster.
And tragically he's killed at the Second Battle of Auburns leading the cavalry charge.
So Elizabeth suddenly finds herself a widow and her mother-in-law, Lady Ferrers, won't pay her dower.
She had no recourse to anybody except really to the King, Edward IV, who happens to be recruiting in the neighbourhood.
And the story is, is that she goes out, she stops him on the road, she tells him that she needs his justice and nobody knows exactly what happened, it happened between the two of them.
But in a month's time they're married in secret and he has to confess to his entire court that he's married this girl from, in a sense, nowhere.
So a Queen of England could once have been sitting here in her own garden? A Queen of England undoubtedly sat here.
Though I bet she sat in more tranquil surroundings than today.
Mind you, considering we're digging up half his garden, Groby's present owner, fireman Paul, seems quite relaxed in the circumstances.
We already know where the Greys slept.
It would have been in this chamber block over here.
And we know where they wined and dined the aristocrats, in the Great Hall there.
But the one thing that every mediaeval family was most concerned about was saving their souls, and they wouldn't have done that by praying in the parish church or in some dusty old grotto.
They would have had their own chapel, which like everything else would have been pretty high status.
Now, Helen, this is where we've put in the trench to identify the Great Hall and down here is this other range or hall that Mick's been talking about with the the buttresses.
And we're somewhere round here, I think.
So where do you think that this chapel might be? Well, from the dower documents, we get some idea.
The first one says that something is near the chapel as far as the chamber above the hall door.
So it's got to be close-ish to the hall.
And here's the hall, door's probably down here, so in this rough area.
Then it goes on to say "the chapel of the manor near the close".
Now the close is this enclosed courtyard, so we know it's near there.
Now when we move onto the later one, that says, "a chapel called the old chapel with the cloister by the same towards the south.
" And if it's towards the south it's got to be at the end of this passage, one would presume, so somewhere around here.
Which is round about where we are.
What do 'you think of this, Mick? I think it might be somewhere in this area.
I mean there's a piece of Norman masonry built into the wall here, look.
Where's that? Next to that black bag, look.
0h, what, this piece here with the cuts out of it? It might relate to an earlier building somewhere in this area.
It's not in position but round the back wall that you can't see from here, you have to go in the garden and we're stood here.
0n that wall there, there actually are some sandstone blocks that looks to be in situ as if they're part of an original wall which might fit with a chapel being in this location.
0K, it might be that side of this wall but it might be this side of the wall.
So I think we've got to look both sides with the geo-phys to see if we've got the layout either side of that.
Somewhere in this area but either that side or this side.
So the team begin to geo-phys on this side of the wall and that side of the wall to see if we're anywhere close to being right about the location of the chapel.
Because middle of day three and what we really need now is another challenge, especially with trenches open all over the site, documents to decipher and finds to analyse.
But at least everyone's making progress.
Let's have you then, come on.
You've been in there for hundreds of years.
Phil, I gather you've got something interesting? Absolutely, Mick.
I finally got to the bottom.
Right.
And I think we've finally got the actual threshold here for the doorway.
Yes, you've got a door jam one side, haven't you? We've got the jam there and we've got a jam on this side, you probably can't see.
0h, yeah, I can just see the corner of that.
We've got this floor dead level.
0h, yeah.
I mean that's going into the middle of the tower, isn't it? We think we got a tower.
Yeah.
With a doorway.
Yeah.
And in there is a cellar.
Yeah.
This is where this is going into.
At a later stage, they take away the doorway.
Because it's nice stone.
Yeah.
Probably a decent door.
And they just plug up the hole with these stones.
And then they fill the middle in with clay.
So we've almost cracked it.
We know when the castle was built - in the Norman period, who built it, Hugh Gromenille, and why it descends so deep underground, because there was once a cellar at the bottom of it accessed by our stairs.
The only question which remains is when the castle was destroyed, which we'll hopefully solve if we can find any dating evidence for when the door was blocked up.
We should then be able to tie it into the history of the other later buildings we're finding in the bailey.
Because in our latest trench, we're not only beginning to uncover a hint of those buttresses This is top quality masonry this, this is really high end building.
But we're also finding dating evidence of when they were built.
This is our star find.
This beautiful silver coin.
And I've got Helen to have a look at this.
Wow.
And it's one of the Edwards but it's clipped so it's not in mint condition.
Right.
Silver, dating from 1280.
So where exactly did that come from? Well, this came from demolition layer which is sealing the earlier phases.
So, can you see, in the section there's this big brown layer coming through.
That would fit actually because, if they're revamping the site to build these big 14th-century buildings on, then that could easily get into it, particularly if it's battered and clipped and worn.
Yeah.
That's exactly what you'd expect.
You keep using this word "clipped".
What exactly do you mean by that? Well, it just means that you know it's been in use for a long time and they've just taken bits off it here and there.
Let's not mince our words about this.
People have been nicking silver.
0ff that coin.
0K.
As it passes through.
They've nicked bits off it and of course cumulatively you'd get a lot over a year or so.
And it's the reason modern coins, which of course aren't made of silver, have that milled edge to them.
Yeah.
You can see that is the genuine edge, it's not been interfered with.
So that shows it's been around a while.
So the date of the coin suggests that the Greys began building their new palatial residence in the 14th century, after demolishing their earlier Norman home in the bailey.
And over at the motte, Phil's finally found something which might tell us how that ties in with the demise of the castle.
Paul! Hello? You'll never guess what I got.
What you got? I got a piece of pottery.
About time and all.
Yeah, but you'll never guess where it comes from.
Go on.
It comes from the bottom of this rubble blocking.
So that piece of pot exactly dates the demolition of that doorway.
0K, no pressure No pressure, then.
Ah, that's all right, that's potter's marlstone.
It's kind of the standard sort of early medieval pottery in this part of the world, but it's glazed and it's quite fine so probably 13th century, I'd say, by the look of it.
Pff! That's very good then.
Well, it's quite useful because the features down there, in the field by the church, all the features that dated before the great house are all producing pottery of the 13th century.
So it looks like the demolition of the castle is about the same date as the demolition of all the buildings down there, when they were being cleared in advance of building the big house.
Very nice.
Nice one.
One piece of pot, look at that.
Well, it just goes to show that you can make one giant leap from one small find, and one equally small trench.
That looks awfully like the plinths that were over there, doesn't it? You've got a buttress coming out, that's what this scar is here, the buttress sticking out.
So that would, I think, clearly demonstrate that if the chapel that we're looking for here, or the building we're looking for here, is on the other side of the wall in the gravel garden at the back.
I mean, the radar we did on this side was inconclusive.
I mean, we've got lots of disturbances we knew, but I'm still convinced if there had been wall lines we'd have seen them.
And we didn't, so, yeah, all the evidence is saying, chapel has to be on the far side.
Absolutely.
And if you compare the geo-phys results from both sides, I think they seal it.
The chapel's on that side of the wall.
And if it was anywhere near as impressive as the hall's turning out to be, it must have been rather spectacular.
Pretty impressive bits of masonry.
They're fantastic, aren't they? This is all part of really good quality window, glazed window.
And on this one, you can even see where the mason's set out his marks.
I love this V bit on Mick's one.
Well, he's got the top of a mullion inbetween two window openings.
So like that, it would've sat, would it? Yeah, yeah.
Got a little arch either side of a central upright.
What kind of date do you think these are? I think these are probably early 14th century.
So how does that tie in with this trench? That shows us, along with these massive walls, that there's a really big building phase of early 1300s around this rectangular courtyard here.
Is this one of the legendary buttresses? Yes.
And you can see the mason's marks on it as well.
0h, yes.
On the side.
Great, isn't it, that we've got the autograph of one particular worker who was working on this fantastic site.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
This is clearly a huge building campaign that produces, from what you're showing us, some sort of really posh aristocratic manor house, not necessarily fully fortified, but like a palace almost.
The Greys are doing really well.
Absolutely.
But after that it's demolished, and they start to build, presumably, that big house over there.
And we're just getting glimpses in each of the trenches of what went on before this lot was put up.
So this is the bailey of the motte and bailey castle? Yeah.
Where we've got timber slots and bits of pot and odd little trenches.
And we're never going to get a complete plan out of it, but at least we can see a much less regular layout of the buildings in this bailey before they come in.
And, I mean, this is a mega project.
When the Greys were at the apex of their power.
Great result! We now not only know what Groby's buildings looked like, but we can actually chart their history right back to the Norman period.
After 1066, Hugh Gromenille was given the land and built himself a really substantial motte and bailey castle with a stone keep and living quarters in the enclosures surrounding it.
And this was the Greys' home until the 14th century, when they decided to upgrade.
Most of the buildings that we've excavated seem to have come into use round about the early 1300s.
How is that reflected in the history? Well, we don't have anyone that we can definitely identify as the builder.
But we've got here a William Ferrers who's summoned to Parliament as Baron of Groby, and he dies in 1325.
So this is about the sort of time that you can imagine them going, we've got the name, we've got the position, we're rising in society, what we want is a really nice big medieval, you know, style house, to kind of back that up, really.
What about when our houses were demolished in the late 1400s, early 1500s.
What was going on then? Well, this comes into the people that I'm really interested in, because Elizabeth Woodville has two boys by John Grey, and one of them is Thomas Grey.
And as part of her rise in the Royal Family, he becomes a marquis, he's given a marquis, and he marries an heiress with a title.
Maybe he goes, well I'll start building here again and make this the show house that I want it to be if I'm going to be now a great Tudor magnate, having been a great Plantagenet magnate.
So he builds the great brick tower and I think starts work on here.
So he might have demolished all the stuff that we've been excavating then and that's where we get our brick tower.
So perhaps, when the Greys' fortunes rose with William Ferrers in the 14th century, they began to build their stunning medieval home, with two-storey accommodation, a magnificent Great Hall and buttressed ranges forming a quadrangle.
A property fit for the remarkable Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England.
And later, her son, the Marquis Thomas Grey, went one better, demolishing this stone palace and building an even more fashionable brick residence, our 15th-century tower.
Did you have any idea before we came here, that under your lawn was a range of medieval buildings? I knew that there was some buildings under there but I had no idea how extensive it would've been.
No it's, er It's amazing.
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