Whatever else you do that embarrasses you this week, at least you weren’t the archaeologists or experts who either didn’t notice, or wholly dismissed, the four storey castle you were looking for.
Imagine you are an archaeologist looking for a 250 year old four story castle. It may have been destroyed, but you're still hoping for buried walls, or foundations, or perhaps just the difference in earth which shows where stones used to be in the ground. This is where you use historical documents, maps, records, and tell tale signs from above ground to identify likely places to dig. You may also then use none invasive methods of investigation to scan the ground before you start digging.
Now imagine that after digging, you fail to find anything much by way of solid evidence. Ah well.
Now image that the four story castle is actually still standing, behind a street called Castle Street, but experts had previously dismissed it "with a cursory glance" as being "of no great historical importance". Oops...
In Clones, County Monaghan, county heritage officer Shirley Clerkin and local historian George Knight explored an overgrown area and found the castle which had since been converted and used for agricultural purposes, and then forgotten and allowed to go to ruin.
The full fantastic story about Clones Castle being 'rediscovered' from under a pile of rubbish and undergrowth is here.
I thought it was a piece of paper on the floor of the museum.
I honestly thought I was just picking up a receipt or a crunched up ticket.
That was why I blithely picked it up.
And then froze as I pondered "Why is this paper wet?"
AND IT WAS HAM.
You may notice I have been lax on cartoons, well, that’s because in the museum we’ve either been busy planning displays and creating displays, or it’s been school holidays…
As we have been full of kids these past few weeks, have a couple of overheard gems!
Child of about 12 pointing into a display cabinet “Mum, Can you buy me this? Not one from the gift shop. But this one? This one right here?”
Lady on phone “Ok, I’m a bit bored, but damn, with the cake they have in the café I’d bring the brats here every day and eat cake. They want to do football camp though. And I don't get free WiFi in a field.”
Two teenage boys are arguing quietly but heatedly “There is no point googling it! Do you really think that Wikipedia will have a different answer to the one the museum people wrote?!”
Exasperated dad “Weeks ago I told you we were coming here on the way from grandma’s. I told you a few days ago we were coming here on the way from grandma’s. When we left grandma’s I told you we were coming here. So you have had AMPLE opportunity to ask to visit Twycross Zoo instead.”
Although at least when people ask this, however daft it may seem, it's better than people in the supermarket asking us where items are - because wearing black trousers and a coloured polo shirt MUST make us staff for the venue. No one would ever pop into a shop on their lunch break from work without first getting changed into distinctive civvies!
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
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