Archaeologists are currently evaluating an area on part of Tower Street, in the shadow of Dudley’s historic castle.
The site has been earmarked for a 225-space car park, but as the site has been occupied for hundreds of years the dig took place ahead of the development in order to ensure the rich history of Dudley is uncovered and added to..
The evaluation work has seen two trenches already dug with a further three planned. The fascinating look into the town’s past will see trenches excavated to show evidence of mediaeval street lay-outs and evidence of buildings.
Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for transportation, said: “It is fascinating looking at these trenches and looking into the town’s hidden past. It is important that we carry out full investigations of the land before any works start on the hope site, however I hope any discoveries won’t adversely affect our time-line for getting the work started on this much-needed car park.”
Dudley Council has secured £2.5million from as part of its Dudley Town Centre development programme for the new car park as part of the on-going regeneration of the town centre.
Dr George Nash, from SLR Consultants, who is heading up the dig, said: “We have dug down about 2.5 metres and have exposed a period of history spanning around 800 years. The dig has uncovered some pieces of 12th century pottery. More importantly it has highlighted what we already knew about the wonderful hidden town layout under Dudley, which is one of the best in the country for mediaeval towns.”
The proposals aim to provide high quality parking in a convenient location in the heart of the town and designs for the car park will be submitted to Dudley Council in March depending on what the archaeologists unearth – showing that archaeology does not prevent development, but rather ensures it happens without a hitch.
Millions of pounds worth of regeneration work is already under way in Dudley including new college developments, work on Castle Hill to improve the visitor experience, the new archive and local history centre, delivery of 250 new homes, the refurbishment of historically important buildings and the £6.7m redevelopment of Dudley’s market place which the planned car park is part of.
Archaeology has never been so important in Dudley, however, no kings have yet been found beneath the proposed carpark!