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Warm weather causes strange markings to appear at Dudley Castle

By Liam Keen | Dudley | News | Published:

Mysterious markings appeared in Dudley Castle's courtyard, but they came from an unexpected source.

Scorching sunshine has produced markings that history experts say indicate where buildings once stood at Dudley Castle

It may look like the result of aliens landing or even the eighth wonder of the world but it's actually a result of the warm weather.

The scorching sunshine has produced crop markings that history experts say indicate where buildings stood as far back as the 16th century.

The long spell of hot weather has revealed prominent parch marks in three areas, revealing a wall line from the 1500s, an elaborate garden water feature from the early 1900s and a unknown building near the base of the keep.

Former castle keeper Adrian Durkin said: “I haven’t seen the wall line across the far end of the courtyard for about 30 years.

“The wall would have enabled food and provisions to be bought to the kitchen without having to go through the main courtyard and is probably John Dudley in date.

“The large circular feature in the centre will be remembered by some as a garden feature but for the rest it is, of course, where the UFOs land!

“But it’s the third marking near the base of the keep which is a real mystery. I’ve never seen it before, we have not excavated the area and I don’t know what it is.”

Education Assistant Amy Hickman, who runs Horrible Histories workshops and ghost walks, said: “We have seen some of these crop marks or parch marks faintly in the past, but they have never emerged so prominently.

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“It’s all down to this exceptionally hot weather which is causing history to re-emerge. These markings are like footprints from the past.”

The ancient markings are attracting a lot of attention with Twitter user @SafariVenues saying: "Because of the recent dry weather we've had up and down the country, hidden markings are being revealed in grassed areas... Our drone shots show some of the interesting remnants of the old garden features at the back of Spring Grove House!"

The warm weather hasn't always provided good news, however, as this comes after it was announced that millions of people will suffer from a hosepipe ban in the coming weeks.

United Utilities announced that a Temporary Use Ban would be in effect for people in the North West from August 5.

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The ban restricts the use of hosepipes or sprinklers for watering private gardens and washing private cars but customers will still be able to water their gardens with a watering can and wash their vehicles using a bucket and sponge, the firm said, which uses a fraction of the amount of water a hosepipe or sprinkler uses.

A hosepipe uses 540 litres an hour, as much as a family-of-four would use in one day, while a sprinkler left running overnight uses as much water as a family-of-four would use in one week, according to United Utilities.

And the warm weather isn't stopping there as according to the Met Office, the high temperatures will be consistent next week with the temperatures ranging between 22 degrees Celsius to 26 degrees. Humidity is also set to reach the high 70s as the heatwave continues to soar.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319688.

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