ARTEFACTS from the final Battle of the English Civil war have been dug up for the first time in Worcester, writes Eve Watson.
A historical treasure trove of musket and pistol balls, horse harness fittings and belt buckles have been found near the site of the new road-widening project in Powick.
Archaeologists and historians have always known the site was the final battle of the Civil War, but no actual physical evidence had ever been uncovered until now.
The site at Powick is part of huge infrastructure project being delivered by Worcestershire County Council between M5 and Powick roundabout.
The scheme involves building a flood compensation area and archaeologists from the County Council were given the chance to explore the site for possible historical finds.
Alongside the construction teams from the contractor Alun Griffiths, archaeologists examined the land using specialist techniques and were able to find nearly 100 pieces from the battle.
The artefacts were buried at the bottom of a river valley, covered by flood deposits built up over hundreds of years since the Civil War.
The Battle of Worcester was the final battle of the English Civil War and took place on September 3 1651.
Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarian army defeated King Charles II in the battle.
Derek Hurst, project archaeological consultant said: “It’s of great interest historically as this is a major national event.
“We’re hopeful that our discoveries will add a new dimension to the historical account of the battle because very often when archaeologists study battle fields they’ve ended up making new discoveries and adding information to what’s already been recorded in the historical record.”
Richard Bradley, on-site 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.
“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,” he added.
Archaeologists are hoping the findings will be displayed in a local museum and are waiting to discuss where the objects will be available to view.