Voyages to the House of Diversion
Seventeenth-Century Water Gardens and the Birth of Modern Science
November 2018 -The West End
October was a hugely productive
month and although there were still things to do at foundation level we
decided to stop pumping and let it all flood until next summer when
hopefully with low water tables we can resume on these lower levels.
For the rest of the winter attention really focuses on the west side of
the octagon where we forecast the site of a possible bridge... read on
to see how it all turned out.
Not Hanwell but the final session at Packwood recording
seventeenth-century timbers sitting in a tank up to my knees in icy
water - no photograph available fortunately.
At Hanwell the moat is left to flood and Peter helps cleaning off the
spread of broken roof tile and plaster/mortar fragments, we've seen it
all before... sort of.
into the second week of November with more topsoil and some subsoil
shifted to clear down onto the uppermost surface of a spread of
destruction debris, all the time working round the roots of a
particularly annoying sycamore or two. With the occasional wet and windy day
it was time to install some new shelving in the tool store and change
things round a bit to give the finds department a little more room to
work plus the great campaign to create a photo archive of all our finds
together with extra special shots for publication of our champion finds
is well underway, thanks to Chris M. and Verna for this.
The following week was an unexpected bonus as yet again the Chastleton
work had bee postponed until the last two weeks before Christmas! This
did mean that we were able to complete a couple of key tasks on the
western extension. First and foremost was the removal of a couple of
tree roots from some stands of Sycamore which although hard to wrestle
out proved not to be as deeply rooted as we had feared. We also we able
to extend the extension a little further south to ensure we saw the
whole of the west side of the octagon and then to the
west in an attempt, eventually, to
identify the far side of the moat and discover if it too was lined in
stone. Once that was done it was time to shut up shop for a couple of
months putting the tools in store and taking the gazebo down to give it
some respite from the worst of the winter weather.