Time Team “The First Tudor Palace?”

“The First Tudor Palace”, Channel 4 Series 13, Episode 4 – Sunday 12th February 2006

Between 27 and 30 September 2005, Channel 4’s “Time Team” undertook an archaeological investigation in the grounds of Wayneflete Tower. The main objective was to evaluate the location and extent of the 15th century palace complex, while attempting to locate earlier 13th and 14th century structures built upon during Wayneflete’s building campaign in the 15th century.

The programme of work was extremely successful as evidence of the keep, a covered walkway/arcade and domestic buildings relating to Wayneflete were revealed, as well as evidence of a great hall, potentially from the 14th century.  Prior to the evaluation, the buildings’ existence was only known from two maps, dating from 1606 and 1673. By comparing the exposed archaeology to the cartographic evidence a clearer interpretation of the structures could be made, and the accuracy of the maps could be proved, but perhaps more importantly the scale and proximity of these palace buildings could be mapped in relation to the gatehouse. For example, we now know that the nearest corner of the keep was just sixty-eight feet from the northwest corner of the gatehouse.

However, perhaps the most exciting and successful result of the week’s work was achieved through the dendrochronological survey, which provided a construction date of the mid 1460’s for the gatehouse.  This is most significant, as previously it was thought that the gatehouse at Farnham was built before Eshers’.  Furthermore, it firmly establishes Wayneflete Tower as a medieval structure; the precursor to Tudor architecture.

View the episode on YouTube here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SMEos9-8KyY

Finds Featured on ”The First Tudor Palace?”

A silver penny struck for Edward IV in circa 1473-8 at the Dublin mint. This coinage was not officially current in England (it was light weight by English standards) but is found relatively commonly.

A copper alloy trade token struck by Thomas Carter of Portsmouth in 1661. The hat engraved on the obverse suggests that he may have been a milliner.