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Uncovering 350-year-old fortifications on the site of the new Sports Facility

Trench 1

Parts of the city’s historic fortifications are being uncovered in two trenches, on the site of the new Sports Facility in Ravelin Park. The walls that have been revealed would have protected our naval port during the 17th century.


Trench 1 – close up

Within trench one, the majority of the wall structure and part of the moat has been uncovered. AOC Archeology has identified a gun platform along the wall that would have been between two raised sections. This platform was called an embrasure.



Trench 2

Work continues in trench two, cleaning out rubble in smaller areas between the walls where the machine bucket cannot work. The team of archaeologists are not expecting to discover any artefacts or items of historical significance, however, they are recording the heritage of the site for future generations.


The team are also comparing the actual findings on site to previous historical maps. If you look at a satellite view of Ravelin Park on Google Maps, you can just make out the lines of the Ravelins to the right of the car park in the dry areas of the grass that will remain uncovered.

Background details about the history of the site can be found in a previous article.

The £53 million Sports Facility will include an eight-court sports hall, eight-lane 25m swimming pool, fitness suite, multipurpose studios, squash courts, climbing wall and a ski simulator. The building will also have teaching facilities, office space and an underground car park.

3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Thats great it woukd be nice if you could show case some iof this and preserve it and incorporate it in the new building

  2. Would it be possible for local historians to visit this site, please? I’m an academic with keen interest in the cultural heritage of the university and could include a study of these trenches/fortifications in new publications.

    • You are free to pop down and have a look as you have a good view from behind the fencing. Unfortunately, you can’t get closer than that due to Health and Safety reasons. The holes are getting filled sometime next week though, so pop down soon!

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