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History of Castle Garth


Natural History

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Images of Castle Garth and Cawood

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Cawood Castle Garth Group


The Project aims to raise awareness and investigate the archaeology, history and natural heritage of the site. The area is at the centre of the village and is an important amenity. The Cawood Castle Garth Group wish to raise awareness of the rich natural and built history of the area, which is the site of a medieval castle, the former palace of the Archbishop of York.

Access to the site has been improved and interpretation boards are being designed and will be erected later this year. The community has designed and produced a variety of leaflets about the Garth - for details please email us at the address below.

The group has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £22805.


2009 Dig - your chance to get involved!
The Cawood Castle Garth Group will be holding another dig from July 7th to 12th 2009. Anyone is welcome to join in on any of these days, and there are activities to suit all levels of activity and ability, whether you want to physically excavate earth or sort, label and photograph finds. If you would like to help please let us know which day you would like to come and the kinds of tasks you'd like to perform, so we can make sure we have space for you. You can email us at cawoodcgg@googlemail.com

See our latest Newsletter!
June 2009 saw the publication of our summer newsletter. To download it click on this link: 2009 Newsletter.

Recent events: Finds Day 2008 and Archaeological Dig!
June 7th saw us hosting Cawood Finds Day 2008 including a visit from the famous Cawood Sword. During National Archaeology Week in July we held our first supervised archaeological dig. - for further details see the Events page

Contact Us!
We now have our own email address - simply send an email to cawoodCGG@googlemail.com

Garth Videos
One member of the Garth Group, Mr Edward Croot, has taken a number of videos of the Garth and various activities upon it. These can be found by clicking on the following link. Garth Videos

Management Plan 2006
Before any work could be considered on the Garth, a detailed Management Plan had to be drawn up with the assistance of a number of experts in different fields.

Here is a link to the PDF of the Management Plan.

Bridge and Access Path 2007
To improve access for all to the Garth, a long-planned path and bridge finally came to fruition in 2007.

Notification that work was finally due to start after a long phase of consultation, planning application and other legal requirements. A Notice on Broad Lane Gate explaining the work that was about to commence

First the bridge begins to take shape. Two workmen beginning to assemble the structure of the bridge on the Garth

The main supports for the bridge are laid. Workmen placing the long joists that will support the bridge

The carpenter working on the bridge. Workman sawing one of the bridge timbers

Once the long supports were in place, digging began for the supporting pillars. Workmen digging under the two long joists to dig the site for the supports

Once the base was in place work commenced on the structure above the walkway level. Workmen starting to add the uprights for the handrail and also the floorboards

Next the handrails were added. A long view of the bridge showing the handrails now in place.

A time capsule was buried underneath the bridge while the work was taking place. A brown bag containing a time capsule is buried under the bridge

The finished bridge prior to work commencing on the path. A distance view of the completed bridge - a light pine coloured wood structure with two handrails and many vertical stays

A closer view of the bridge. A closer view of the bridge

The Garth bridge the day before worked commenced on the path. A long distance shot showing the Garth and the bridge on a sunny winter's day

The workmen and Garth Group celebrate the completion of the bridge. 8 people, 4 on the bridge and 4 in front in the dry moat celbrate the bridge's completion

Margaret ponders the imminent construction of the path. Margaret stands leaning on one end of the bridge, which is still impassable due to tapes placed across the ends, awaiting completion of the path

The Garth Group get to grips with marking out the location of the new paths. Three people marking out the path with blue spray cans on the grass

The digger arrives and begins scraping away a few inches of topsoil from the pond end of the bridge. A small digger using its bucket to scrape away the soil from the end of the bridge nearest the pond

The digger empties the discarded topsoil into a waiting dump truck, after the soil has been checked for any potential artefacts. The digger empties a bucket of soil into a waiting small dumpster

The digger progresses slowly along the path, here by the lime tree. The digger scrapes away soil near the lime tree

Part of the access works involved installing new gates at two of the Garth entrances. Broad Lane gateway was prepared first. Broad Lane gateway showing the old gate removed along with a large neighbouring shrub, reduced to a stump

And the new Broad Lane gate is installed The new Broad Lane gate, showing a wooden 5-bar gate about four feet wide, with a vertical metal shaft to enable horse riders to open the gate without dismounting

The path was topped with tarmac scalpings, meaning that the edges would quickly be covered with grass and the effect softened - this picture shows the spur to the pond steps. The path surface is dark grey and granular, being crushed tarmac.

The path was completed quickly - this shot was taken just two weeks after work commenced. Looking towards the pond surrounded by Scot's Pine trees, showing the edges of the path have already been covered by the long grass

The new path heading towards the Castle. A view along the path from the pon back towards the Castle

The new gate at the Thorpe Lane entrance to the Garth. The new gates at the Thorpe Lane entrance, a three foot 5-bar gate and an 8-foot 5-bar gate to allow vehicle access.

Four members of the Garth Group pose by the bridge after walking the new path for the first time. Four people standing by the end of the bridge, with the new path in the foreground, the surface still uncompacted by foot traffic.