Monday, 15 July 2013

A Hot Weekend in the Trenches

It has been an absolute scorcher of a weekend, but this has not stopped our volunteers getting muddy (or more like dusty) in the trenches in our search for the lost north wing of Petworth House, and they have already begun to uncover all sorts of features. Straight away, early on the Saturday morning we spotted what looked like a wall in trench 3 but after some work cleaning and uncovering, it now looks more likely to be an internal gully. Unfortunately the wall that would have once run along side this appears to have been removed. Also on the Saturday morning the team in trench 2 began to uncover what looked like a floor or pathway (see picture 2). On further investigation it would appear to be a floor to an external area, possibly a courtyard, with a path running off it.

On Sunday we began to excavate the Ha Ha (trench 4), which already had elements of brickwork and masonry work eroding out of the bastion ditch. After some hard work with the mattock and spade it appears that a wall is being uncovered, whilst in trench 5 a possible wall appears to be showing up on the edge of the trench.

In terms of small finds we already have some fragments of lovely post-medieval vessel glass, plaster moulds from the old North Wing, both medieval and post-medieval pottery and some wonderful green-glazed roof tiles, all indicactions of an important, high status site (we will put pictures of the finds up later in the week).

The locations of our Festival of Archaeology trenches, investigating the former North Wing of Petworth House and the later 18th century formal gardens.

Of course this is still early days and as more is excavated we will have a better understanding of what we are uncovering. In the coming days more the features will be uncovered and some small test pits put in the current trenches (known as a sondage) to see how deep the deposits are and how they relate to one another. Of course we will keep you updated with all the developments!

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