So, it’s the end of our first week and time for a walk over the site.
In the northern extent of Trench 2 there are still areas of demolition rubble covering the western edge of the trench (the foreground right area on the picture below). Within this rubble are patches of bricks, and abutting the wall that runs from north to south through the trench is also a patch of cobbles and broken stone. The cobbles and broken stone seem to show where another part of the wall has been robbed out. Perhaps the stones were used to line one of the field drains that run through the trenches, which were put in during the reconstruction of the modern parkland, to direct water down to the lake. The capped drain that runs diagonally across the trench has now been fully exposed and defined. It seems to run beneath the wall and is therefore likely to be an earlier feature. The artefacts coming from this area are contemporary with the destruction of the hall. There are many pieces of pottery and bottle glass along with metal nails and other small objects. They appear to be much more broken up than the artefacts from other areas of the site, as though these had been crushed up with the rubble before being put into the ground, whereas in other areas it seems as though plates and bottles have been thrown straight on to the rubble, creating much larger sherds and pieces.
At the other end of Trench 2 is the furnace. We originally discovered the brick lined portion of this feature last year, but as we have extended the trench we have discovered this feature extends much further south down the slope. We have been recording the rubble layer today and will start to excavate this feature further next week to try and determine what this furnace was used for and how it relates to the hall.
In the centre of the trenches, there are walls abutting the cobbled area we discovered last year starting to become visible, and the continuation of the field drain running through the trench. There is also a pit or midden area which is producing a great deal of finds. Next to this feature is another capped drain which has now been fully exposed and is ready to be recorded.
In Trench 6, on the far side of the site (east) we are continuing to expose a paved floor and surrounding walls. It seems there are also two shallow lined pits, filled with ash and burnt material. We are still trying to establish what these features might be in context with the building around them.
As you can see, we still have plenty to do, which will keep us busy for the next two weeks, so please keep checking back to the blog to see our latest progress.
The marquee is open throughout the day, every day except Wednesday, so please come down to come and see some of the artefacts. We are also running workshops for adults and children at 2pm followed by a site tour every day.