Dye garden – Gardening volunteer project at Brewhouse Yard
There is a tradition of textile production and dyeing at Brewhouse Yard. Innovations in dyeing took place here and made William Elliott one of the richest men in Nottingham – he invented black dye.
For this reason, gardening volunteers have been busy working on a dyeing garden down at Brewhouse Yard. Work got underway in late April. At present the dye garden has been planted and there has been a workshop on dying using plants. Nottingham City Council’s Volunteer Programme Coordinator,Karen Lushey explains…
“The dye garden is in one of the front cottage beds. It was been kept very small to be more easily managed. A freelancer came in and explained how to dye using plants etc. (this is actually a much longer process than you may think).
There is another workshop in September at Woodthorpe Grange’s Grow Your Own event where the team will pilot a short dye session with visitors. If this works out well we are hoping to do this as a regular offer at Brewhouse Yard.
Funding for this work has come from several pots. Some Arts Council England budget for the gardens and some contribution from the Nottingham Castle development budgets.
Going forward, there are plans for a garden cart project (sort of like the art carts in the galleries) that is going to be part funded from award money from the Marsh Trust as well as Arts Council England funds.”
The project is always looking for more people to help in gardens! Please get in touch
“On 1 June an excavation began on the Castle Green. A trench measuring approximately 7m by 6m was dug to locate the 1978 trench and importantly the rest of the skeleton.
Before any excavation could take place permission was required from the Sectary of State for the Department of Media, Culture and Sport, which made a decision based upon advice from Historic England. This permission was needed because the site is a Scheduled Monument, protected by law due to its national importance. In order to remove human remains from the ground, a license was needed from the Ministry of Justice.
The excavation had to be partially shielded from public view, so that the remains could be excavated with due care and decency.
The excavation was undertaken largely by mechanical digger, with an archaeologist from Trent & Peak Archaeology supervising, before a small area was excavated by hand once bones had become visible.
The rest of the skeleton was cleaned and recorded before being taken away for further examination. Following the excavation, I was lucky enough to do a small amount of digging to try and find any dating evidence beneath the grave.
The skeleton will now be studied by an osteologist from Trent & Peak to try and estimate the person’s height and stature and to identify any signs of illness or trauma that the individual suffered in life. The remains found in 1978 suggested the individual was between 20 and 25 at death. During the excavation in June it was quickly apparent the person was male.
Shortly before the excavation began, I took a sample of the bones found in 1978 to Oxford University where radiocarbon dating will take place. It is hoped to establish whether the man was a Parliamentarian captain who we know was killed at the castle in September 1643.
Results for the dating are expected any day now. Later this year we may have further tests carried out to work out details of the individual’s diet and establish their place of birth.”