This is what an excavation looks like after being abandoned for several
And here's Chris, Ian and Peter working as a team to tidy up with the
finished result including sparkling new barrier tape, what a treat.
Digging on the south west side of the island was less than sparkling as
there was a winter's worth of mud to clear.
Nevertheless we persevered and amongst the latest crop of finds was this
fragment of a very fine early seventeenth-century pedestal bowl... not
sure about the social distancing here chaps....
Ian meanwhile was investigating our
third dog burial. Initially a few bones were noted protruding from an
eroded section edge. They looked remarkably like the finger or toe
bones belonging to a child so we were on standby
to call the police and coroner's office in when we found the
first claw... it was a dog, relief all round.
A couple of days pumping lowered the water along the
northern side sufficiently to think about getting to work catching up
with some section drawing.
On the south side tidying up the surface of the silting within the moat
uncovered another crop of pots, four at least and one fine glass bowl.
For a moment I thought we might have our first not only complete but
but a little more digging is needed before we celebrate that particular
milestone. Up top the digger moves in to strip topsoil from the south
Here's progress over two days, topsoil and the cleaner upper levels of
silting in the moat removed by machine, all, of course, 'under direct
archaeological supervision' as I'm continually writing in WSIs.
The campaign to catch up on recording continued with Verna finishing
drawing the very first section we started to cut back in 2017
In the new area opened up we began by identifying the line of the wall
and the the surface of the spread of demolition rubble. As part of this
some serious attention had to be given to two stubborn tree stumps and
attached roots... thanks Peter
Verna and Chris were back on the south side where there is still work to
do removing the lowest levels of rubble and silt but Chris was later
promoted to wall duty.
Almost got social distancing cracked and Andries nails the final corner
of our octagon.
In preparation for the
influx of diggers at the start of August one of the less pleasant
tasks was to pump out and then scrape up a winter's worth of
accumulated dead leaves nicely mixed into a thick sticky, smelly black
goo. Not a job to pass on so I spent a couple of days mired in
the mud, no problems with social distancing now. As something of a
reward I came across, in the eroded section edge, the remaining
portion of the rather fine seventeenth-century delftware plate
we partially recovered last year, rather lucky I think. Work continued
to ensure we had access to as much of the site as possible so we
could really spread people around. Preparations also included a little
tree felling and then the assembling of individual tool kits so
volunteers would not have to share equipment... strange times indeed.
Happy as a .... don't say it.... alright.... 'pig in muck'.
The reward... yes, it matches, now where did I put that tube of glue?
Juggling planks to create access whilst Chris comes across another pot,
not a form we've seen before this one.
Our least favourite tree stripped and ready for the chop, the plan being
that we will now be able to extend the trench a little and recover the
rest of the fountain bowl... well that's the plan
Another dangerously leaning tree was felled.
Meanwhile Verna was master-minding the division of tools and equipment:
ten new buckets, ten trowels, ten hand shovels, ten kneelers and ten
hi-viz jackets, all ready to go.