During the excavation we have a core of volunteers who gave a great deal of time and effort to the dig. For many it was their first time digging, and for some it was a bit of a shock! Unlike many sites, we were obliged to remove the turf and topsoil by hand. The excavation was started off by Lady Chichester who supported the project from the first. We have a visual record of the work and want to share this with you. Some of our images are more formal shots of the archaeology and others are more informal images of life in an around the dig.
Lady Chichester breaks earth to start the excavation Under cloudy skies. Hard to tell it was June! The team hard at work de-turfing Trench 1. Leo, down there at the front, was our youngest volunteer! Our turf wall being added to carefully by Tim. Ann adds to our spoil heap. Trench 1 coming along. We could already see archaeology appearing, Action shot? Well, almost! You can see how close to the surface finds were beginning to appear. Looking NE across Trench 1 and some areas of interest have been identified. In the NW corner of Trench 1 – each bag denotes a find. You can already see colour differences in the trench of different deposits. Looking SW across the trench, There are areas showing signs of fire/burning here. Here in Trench 1, we can see a deposit associated with demolition. There is a tumble of fragments of brick and stone within a charcoal rich layer. In trench 1 evidence of something made with stone begins to emerge.
Here are some images from Trench 1 when the topsoil has been removed and the area has been cleaned.
Intervention 3. Here you can clearly see a dark area. This corresponded to a possible feature identified in the resistivity survey. A look at the NW corner of Trench 1 and the pre-excavation condition of contexts 0102, 0106 and 0108. There seem to be clear edges between them. Here context 1020 shows a strong spread of compacted mortar. Context 0102 in the foreground and 0106 to the left. Scatters of brick fragments were present more frequently in the northern half of the trench. The subsoil of Trench 1. Shows moderate compaction and signs of demolition material. Context 0107 shows compacted brick fragments with occasional mortar in a darker soil than surrounding contexts. Context 0116 showing brick and stone fragments tipping at different angles suggesting they had been dumped into a pit. Context 0104 in the SW corner of Trench 1. This has a higher clay content than the surrounding area, To the right and left are areas of compacted mortar. Context 0114 running along the eastern edge of the trench. A shallow depression with bricks tipping into it.
Here are some images from the excavation of features.
In Trench 1 the excavation followed a number of features identified by resistivity, including this one containing brick fragments. To give you an idea of scale, the’s the same feature with a 1m square drawing frame over it. Here is the same deposit partially excavated. Looks like it is associated with demolition. There is a tumble of fragments of brick and stone within a charcoal rich layer. Our ‘intereventions’ targeted different features and explored their relationship to each other. Another feature identified in the resistivity survey. In the process of exposing it, there were signs it looked substantial. Here is more of Context 0116 and what certainly looks like a wall!
And here are some post-excavation images
.On the west edge of Trench 1 there was a deposit of ceramic material – the remains of pancheon bowl associated with processing dairy products. In the NW corner there were several features. This image shows how complex the relationships were. The same features from a different angle. This shows a later later land drain, a wall and an area of very compacted mortar. The wall seems to begin here and head out of the trench Here is the wall and compacted mortar. The bricks are thought to be later than those found elsewhere in the trench. So what was this wall for? This shows how one of the features turns at a right angle. While no walls were found, we believe these are ‘robber trenches’ where to original material has been removed and filled with demolition materials. Looking SW the robber trench runs from the west edge of the trench then turns to the right. More features emerging from the northern trench edge. This area is on the left of the previous image and shows another robber trench that was not exvacated. Contained within a robber trench was this feature which was interpreted as part of a foundation and a cut for a cruck beam used in the construction of a building. Here is a view of a feature shown above. It showed strongly as a linear feature in the resistivity survey – possibly a wall. Turned out to be a later field drain which we think used demolition materials.