The four boroughs recorded in the Domesday Book (Bridport, Dorchester, Shaftesbury and Wareham) were surveyed by using ground penetrating radar to establish the existence of substantial ditches accompanying the castle motte. Only one of the mottes still remains, that of Wareham, the others have either been destroyed or their location has not yet been established, as in Bridport. Exhibitions were mounted in the four towns, each accompanied by the booklet, the funding being supplied by the Awards for All scheme.
The DCRG undertook extensive topographical and geophysical surveys of the areas close to the 17th century Lulworth Castle. The purpose was to investiagte the 12th century castle, the 17th century ornamental gardens and the remains of East Lulworth Village demolished in the 18th century. The results were published in a booklet that accompanied an exhibition mounted in the current castle and financed by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The DCRG has been involved in several projects which has culminated in a number of written reports and exhibition booklets. Some examples are provided on this page and a complete list is detailed below.
‘Bridport – Norman Castle in Dorset’s Domesday Borough (2009)’ – a review of the results from the ground penetrating radar survey to locate the ditch surrounding the motte, the location of which is still a mystery. Financed by Awards For All.
'Broadmayne (2015)' – findings of the topographical and resistivity surveys undertaken at Manor Farm in 2014 revealing a series of large and small medieval paddocks attached to the house.
‘Dorchester – Norman Castle in Dorset’s Domesday Borough (2009)’ – a review of the ground penetrating radar survey to locate the ditch surrounding the motte. A ditch was discovered between the inner and outer walls of the prison in the right area confirming the location identified by Hutchins in his map of 1772. Financed by Awards For All.
‘East Lulworth Village – an assessment for the 11th and 12th century landscape (2014)’. – a dissertation detailing the objectives, aims and results of a multi-discipline project financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project included documentary research, topographical and geophysical surveys, included an outreach programme with a local school, and culminated in an exhibition at Lulworth Castle. Financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
‘Lulworth – the ‘Lost’ Castle (2008)’ - a report on research into three potential sites for a 12th century castle, compiled for the Council for British Archaeology following funding for the research. The sites were East Lulworth Village, Mount Poynings and North Eweleaze. Financed by the Council for British Archaeology.
‘Mount Poynings – Pottery Analysis (2008) ’ – the results of a fieldwalk establishing a pottery sequence for the site, including part of a 14th century tile from Bindon Abbey.
‘Shaftesbury – Norman Castle in Dorset’s Domesday Borough (2009)’ – a review of the results from the ground penetrating radar survey. This project was designed to survey the site of Castle Hill to determine whether the monument was a motte and bailey. The site, however, was too overgrown to complete a successful survey and this then focussed on Castle Green to the east revealing ridge and furrow field system across this area. Financed by Awards For All.
‘Wareham – Norman Castle in Dorset’s Domesday Borough (2009)’ – a review of the results from the ground penetrating survey to locate the ditch surrounding the motte. A feature, believed to be the ditch, was located to the north of the motte and to the south other features were identified possibly part of the curtain wall. Photographs from the excavations in the 1950’s are needed compare with the radar results – these are known to exist but have not been made available to the DCRG. Financed by Awards For All.