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Archaeologists uncover building remains at Auckland Castle site

A team from Durham University is digging in the grounds of Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland before work to turn the historic site into a tourist destination begins. It has revealed new information about the site's 900 year history.

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a building near the castle's Scotland Wing, alongside evidence of burning.

The castle's head curator, Dr Chris Ferguson, believes the volume of debris could suggest a 'very dramatic end' to what looks to have been a substantial structure.

"Sir Arthur Hazlerigg, was one of the five MPs who led the rebellion against Charles I in 1642, he was appointed Oliver Cromwell's general in the North East,"

"In 1650 he bought Auckland Castle after the then Bishop of Durham had fled at the height of the civil war.

"We know he set about what was later described as the 'ravenous sacrilege' of the building and that he proceeded to blow up the 350-year-old chapel with gunpowder with the intention of reusing the stone in a new mansion.

"If gunpowder was indeed used then that could account for the astounding amount of wreckage that has been found."

– The castle's head curator, Dr Chris Ferguson

"Whatever happened here is from a time when records were either vague or non-existent, so anything we find will help add to the overall picture of the castle."

– Natalie Swann, project archaeologist at Durham University

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'English Civil War' artefacts unearthed at Auckland Castle

Artefacts from what's thought to be the English Civil war have been unearthed at Auckland Castle. Archaeologists from Durham University have been excavating the site which will be open to the public at the end of the month.

Discoveries on site

The Auckland Castle Trust hopes to uncover 900 years of history.

Hundreds of years of history

After 10 days of digging in Bishop Auckland, remains of a building have been laid bare in a trench on an area close to the castle's Scotland Wing.

Working at the excavation site

Auckland Castle's head curator, Dr Chris Ferguson, says the volume of debris is a 'puzzle and could suggest a very dramatic end' to what looks to be a substantial structure.

Bishop Auckland

Video flying through space shows how universe would look to Captain Kirk

On the day scientists in the United States announced they may have detected echoes of the Big Bang at the start of the universe, researchers in the UK showed off a unique image of the cosmos in more recent times.

The team from Durham University used data from telescopes and satellites to put together a detailed map of thousands of galaxies, which Dr Peder Norberg compared to the view Captain Kirk and his team in Star Trek would have from their flights around space:

Durham Vice-Chancellor to retire

Professor Chris Higgins Credit: Durham University

Professor Chris Higgins, the Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, has announced that he will retire on September 30th.

He will remain as Vice-Chancellor Emeritus until his successor is appointed and a successful handover completed.

He has been in the role for the last seven years.

He said:

"I will, of course, be very sad at leaving the University I love, and friends and colleagues I admire. However, the timing is right.

"The University and its Colleges is probably in the best shape it has ever been, academically and financially, providing a strong platform for my successor to take the University and its Colleges to even greater heights.

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Professor says the term dyslexia is unscientific and should be abandoned

by Richard Wilson

Getting a diagnosis of dyslexia is often seen as the solution to the problems experienced by those with struggle in areas such as reading, writing an learning.

But now an expert in physiology and education from Durham University says the term 'dyslexia' should be abandoned.

Professor Julian Elliott says some people have learning difficulties but says 'dyslexia' is used to describe many problems which may not need the same treatment.

He has outlined his ideas in a new book which some see as controversial.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a term used to describe learning difficulties in children and adults, which can affect their ability to read, write and spell, and in some cases speech, memory and ability to learn rhythms or patterns.

It is difficult to know how many people have dyslexia, but it is estimated to affect 5-10% of the population. It is four times more common in boys than girls.

Famous people with dyslexia:**

  • Richard Branson
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Thomas Edison
  • Albert Einstein
  • Steve Jobs
  • Sir Steve Redgrave

For more information about dyslexia, including where to find help for yourself or your child, see the charity Dyslexia North East.

Professor asks teachers to abandon "meaningless" label of dyslexia

An academic at Durham University has said the term 'dyslexia' is unscientific and should be abandoned.

Professor Julian Elliott said many people do experience problems with reading, but that the diagnosis of dyslexia is used to describe too wide a range of problems.

In a book due to be released in March, researchers said the key task for teachers was to identify children struggling to read and intervene at a very early age, rather than spend time testing for a "questionable" diagnosis.

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