This year the project focused on two main areas for further work – the search for the medieval farmhouse we think was on the platform and collecting environmental samples for detailed assessment and analysis.
The TFIG and volunteers set to work on the 23rd Aug 2021 and we documented the great efforts they made in excavating the site.
In our first gallery are some images from the preparation for the excavation showing the setting and some shots from volunteer Richard’s drone. Always good to get a new perspective!
As with all excavations, we began with the strenuous work of de-turfing, and because the farm is under Higher Level Stewardship we were required to do this by hand – no big yellow trowel for us!
So after the de-turfing the excavation really got going. The first step was to clean back the surface to see if any features could be seen.
After cleaning we had a good look at the trench sides to see what might be going on. For the most part the sides were shallow, with nothing to note in them. However, in the northwest corner there was something which was significant. On the northern trench edge there was a narrow band of orange material below the subsoil (on the left). This continued into the western edge (on the right). Each band was about 2.5m long. This is an example of an ‘iron pan’ formed by chemical reactions between the soil and plant materials.
As we moved on and took of the first ‘spit’ of 10 cms, our first finds began to appear. Here we can see volunteers Emily (@StewartRayner), Richard (@ImagesRkm) and Paul beginning to excavate the southeast corner of the trench. The flags mark the finds – in this case they are all pottery.
The main trench was divided into four areas which seemed to offer the most promise. In the northwest corner was a hard ‘iron pan’ shown above. Over in the northeast corner there was a tumble of stony material which tipped further down the slope. In the centre of the trench was the backfill of the 2016. Around this we found undisturbed ground which contained a range of pottery fragments. These were initially dated to be between the 16th-18th centuries. At the lowest level we reached we were able to recover some medieval pottery, but as is usually the case we were at the end of our time on site!