Walsall-based civil engineering contractor Barhale has helped archaeologists uncover lost secrets at the Tower of London.
Specialists from the company were employed to examine the well in the White Tower at the heart of the Tower of London.
The aim was to ensure exploration was safe for archaeologists employed by Historical Royal Palaces, the charitable trust that manages the Tower, to discover its true age.
Although the White Tower was built by William the Conqueror soon after the 1066 invasion, there was speculation that the freshwater well on the site was excavated at the time of the construction of an earlier building there.
Barhale has been recommended to the Tower of London by Thames Water, because of its expertise in confined space entry.
Its previous works have been featured on TV.
The well measures just
1.6 metres in diameter and is 12m deep and is located in the basement of the White Tower, which today is the home of the White Tower shop.
A five-man team from Barhale's Bushey depot installed pumping equipment to drain down the fresh water which still feeds the well, established a safe access, and provided confined entry supervision to the archaeologists for their exploration of the foot of the well.
As well as a lot of silt, old pennies, cups, glass bottles and old boots, the archaeologists found a number of timber sections believed to be used in the construction of the well, and samples of these were taken so they could be dendro-dated.
Early indications from the dating of the timber suggest that the well was built prior to the construction of the White Tower, and is at least 1,000 years old.