Today we had a bit of a change around and some newbies joined us.
There was a perfect start to the day with a seasonal hail-shower which forced us to do our morning briefing in the shelter of the portico of the mansion.
The shower only lasted ten minutes but would set the tone for the morning, heavy showers of rain and hail followed by beautiful spring sunshine.
The first proper job of the day was to expand the fencing around Trench 3 (the deepest trench). This expansion was largely to accommodate a bigger spoil heap so more digging could be done.
Over in Trench 2 (behind the mansion) hard work began to reveal some linear features. What look like two ditches (in dark soil) running parallel through the trench. In order to get a nice photgraph of this the diggers began cleaning off the trench only to be frustrated by a hail-shower.
The shower stopped. Wet mud now smeared the archaeology, back into the trench to clean…. more hail.
All in all Trench 2 had to be cleaned three times due to the inclement weather.
Given that and the fact that Trench 3 had become a bit of a quagmire it was decided for safety (and sanity) to leave the trenches until after lunch and repair to the mansion house for some in-doors surveying.
After lunch in was back out to see what could be salvaged of the day. The hole in Trench 1 which looked like it may have been the bowl of a grubbed-out bush had filled with a delightful brown liquid which led Geoff the archaeologist to get out his trusty ladle and spoon it dry. Trench soup anyone?
Slowly as the afternoon progressed we had features appearing in every trench.
Trench 1 seems to be more confusing than ever with multiple layers of dumping and debris as well as a feature being called ‘Fran’s Crisp Packet Hole’. This is a hole seemingly filled with crip packets cleaned and discovered by our volunteer Fran. Perhaps not the most archaeologically significant hole but interesting to show the sort of difference in soil colour that you get with filled in holes.
Trench 2 continued exposing more of those parallel features.
In Trench 3 we hit a lump of sandstone. This was initially thought to be bedrock but closer inspection and a bit of GPS technology showed that our trench was right on the site of the enclosure that appears on the 1893 map. Could this stone be part of that enclosure?
Only tomorrow will tell.