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Aberystwyth Castle skeleton 2

This skeleton of a man aged about 28 was found during the excavation of Aberystwyth Castle in 1988.

He may have been buried during the siege of the Castle in 1645-6, at the end of the Civil War. If this is so, he was a supporter of King Charles I and was helping to defend the castle against the Roundheads who supported Cromwell and Parliament.

The Royalists surrendered in 1646 and Cromwell ordered the destruction of the Castle in 1648.

It is very rare for burials to be found inside Castles. We can only assume that he died during the siege and was given a temporary burial, but was not reburied in consecrated ground later. The excavation showed that he was carefully laid out and was not buried accidentally, for example, during the demolition of the castle. One other explanation is that he was murdered and his body hidden under floorboards.

A study of the skeleton shows that he was about 5ft 8 inches tall (1.72m) and that he may have been done a lot of walking or marching. He may have been left handed and might have fallen from a height when younger, twisting his spine. His teeth are in good condition, and are not worn which suggests that he had a good diet.

There is no obvious evidence of how he died. There is a crack in his jaw bone which may have been caused by a horse kicking him. He might have died from a disease or wound.

The skeleton is being studied by members of the Aberystwyth and District Archaeology Society.

Once the remains have been fully analysed, and the excavation report published, they will be buried with due ceremony.