Her skeleton could be 1,000 years old. She was unearthed by volunteers during the first day of digging at the castle, built during the 1780s on grounds now thought to have been used long before medieval times.
Slate roof tiles, nails and mortar discoveries could also be signs of a settlement in Hillsborough before the Georgian village that exists today.
Rosanagh Fuller, of Historic Royal Palaces, says the finds - made with the help of more than 300 local volunteers - are “extremely exciting”. Further analysis is expected to reveal more about a previously unknown part of the castle’s story.
Culture24 Reporter. 2016. “This female skeleton has been discovered at an ancient burial ground on the site of the Queen's Hillsborough Castle residence in Northern Ireland”. Culture24. Posted: August 4, 2016. Available online: http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/archaeology/art559811-hillsborough-castle-northern-ireland-county-down