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Lottery grant helps Purbeck pupils delve into history
LOTTO HELP: Pupils from The Purbeck School in Wareham, have been enlisted in the hunt for the original site of Lulworth Castle
A QUEST to pinpoint the original site of Lulworth Castle will be financed by a £50,000 National Lottery grant.
Students from The Purbeck School, Wareham, have been enlisted in the archaeological endeavour, after the Dorset Castles Research Group (DCRG) secured the cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Experts will join students in the search for evidence of Lulworth’s original 800-year-old castle.
They’ll be using modern methods to scour the existing castle’s grounds throughout 2013, before displaying their findings in a long-term exhibition.
DCRG secretary Ray Baxter explained: “We’ve been awarded £52,300 for a project that will include a search for the location of Lulworth Castle – not the existing castle but the 12th century castle which was recorded by William of Malmesbury.
“Apart from looking for the earlier castle the group also hopes to discover evidence of the present day castle’s 18th century ornamental gardens and the village of East Lulworth which once stood nearby.”
Land where Lulworth Castle now stands was first acquired by Thomas Howard, son of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, by marrying one of the last of the de Newburgh family. Also acquired at this time was land at the Bindon Abbey Estate.
In 1575 Queen Elizabeth made him Viscount Bindon and in the same year Thomas built a large country house on the site of Bindon Abbey. Thomas was a wealthy man who held high office at the time, including that of Vice Admiral of Dorset, and defender of the Dorset coast against smuggling and piracy.
Thomas Howard was succeeded in 1582 by Henry, a man who associated with pirates and who ill-treated his wife. In the same year, Henry’s aunt also died leaving him to inherit the rest of the abbey estates. When Henry died, his brother Thomas inherited and re-established the de Newburgh deer park and built the castle as a hunting lodge to host hunting parties for the king.
Historians say the earliest documentary record of East Lulworth village is in the Doomsday Book.