The Dorset Castles Research Group (DCRG) was established in 2004 by a group of enthusiasts dedicated to researching, investigating, dating, documenting and publishing findings relating to early Norman castles and their environment in Dorset. Such research inevitably includes evaluating the landscape in which the castle is, or was, situated. Since the group was formed, the area of study has been expanded to include other historical sites such as prehistoric fields and disappeared manor houses. Recent project work has included researching the abandoned medieval village of East Lulworth and the 'lost' 12th century Lulworth Castle.
The work of the DCRG is mainly concerned with the topographical and geophysical surveying of historical sites which entails the use of a wide array of modern equipment. Associated supporting historical research has not only entailed using the facilities of establishments such as the Dorset History Centre (DHC), Southampton University’s Hartley Library and the National Monuments Records Office (NMR) at Swindon but has also taken members to the British Museum Reference Library and British Library in London.
Whilst the DCRG has been largely self-financing it has been successful in obtaining Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) incuding an Awards for All grant for two major projects which have involved community outreach. CBA funding has also been obtained for other specific project work. Details of these can be found on the Projects page.