The afternoon before, and all the next day, were both too wet to dig. So this afternoon my mother and I snuck in half a day’s digging. We even had a WW2 biplane fly over, then swing back round to have a closer look – as well as one of the best finds of the dig!
There is no sign (as yet) of the east wall of the extension, where it should have butted against the south wall of the cottage. If it survives it must be 2 or more brick courses down from the top of the surviving south cottage wall. Worth noting is that the west wall of this extension (excavated back in the spring) was completely missing. My hypothesis is that they were most likely cut by the bulldozer which tidied up its partially destroyed remains – the result of WW2 allied training exercises. I was planning to describe this hypothesis in more detail, looking carefully for evidence which might test it (prove it wrong) by further digging. Hypothesis formation and testing is the basis of the scientific method in which I was trained in at University. But perhaps the creation of speculative theories – to be continually tested, and modified with more evidence – which is how my mind automatically works – is not always appropriate. In this case it may be better to continue digging, to carefully observe and record what is found, and wait and see what the surviving evidence for this east extension wall may be.
Further excavation of the south wall of the extension revealed a badly decayed mortared flint face to the inner brick face of this wall.
The challenging search for features was more than made up for by the quality of the finds. The best were;
the sole of a child’s shoe;
an almost entire porcelain doll’s cup;
several nicely decorated ceramic shards and clay pipe stems;
a shaped and decorated bone(?) handle with a concreted rusty something at its thinner end;
an iron knife blade(?) found nearby;
many shards of both the thicker and thinner types of window glass.
We even dug up some unusual wildlife, a wingless species of solitary wasp, called the ‘large velvet ant’, Mutila europaea. Not so nice is that it is parasitic on bumble bees.