EXPERTS will today begin a big study to prove there was life on Castle Hill thousands of years ago.
Archaeologists using the latest technology are to begin a major survey of Huddersfield’s most famous landmark.
And the man behind the study believes it could result in the hill being proved to be one of the most significant historic sites in the region.
Sam Harrison, a renowned archaeologist, will run the geophysical survey with a team of assistants.
They will not be digging at the landmark site, but will instead use high-tech equipment which effectively provides them with an “x ray” picture of the area below the surface.
And Mr Harrison is convinced the findings will be exciting.
“We already know there was an iron age fort at Castle Hill and also a motte and bailey,” he said.
“We have evidence of settlements there from the 1300-1400 period but now we believe we can pinpoint settlements much earlier – perhaps as long ago as 2,500 years.
“It could well be one of the most significant historic sites in West Yorkshire.
“The last detailed survey was done in 1998 but technology has advanced so much that we can now get a much more detailed picture of what lies beneath the grass.”
The survey has been commissioned by Kirklees Council which is considering plans to turn the Castle Hill site into a nature reserve complete with conservation projects.
Depending on the findings of the latest survey, which was due to start this morning, they could then commission a further study which may involve excavation work.
The study will also allow members of the public to get involved in the project.
Mr Harrison said: “We will have a team of people on site from today and they will be more than willing to let people know what is happening.
“If the council decides to go ahead with further surveys, then there is the opportunity for interested members of the public to get involved with the actual work”.
The new survey into Castle Hill’s historic past could prove to be a further stumbling block for controversial plans to rebuild the former pub on the site.
The former Castle Hill Hotel was bought by the Thandi brothers and later demolished.
But their first attempt to rebuild fell foul of council planners and the half-built hotel had to be demolished. Since then they have not been able to agree a new design with Kirklees planners.