Friday turned out to be a really beautiful sunny day, following some very heavy overnight rain, which resulted in the cottage’s beautiful terracotta floor tiles looking at their very, very best!
The site as a whole was able to be photographed looking incredibly shiny & clean.
The ongoing one metre square being excavated over the north-east of the front garden gateway was at last completely excavated and cleaned up. We had hoped it would be uninteresting and so quick and easy to excavate – but how wrong we were – it became one of the most exciting of the dig! We had found an in-situ midden, on the down-slope side of the entrance, and full of exciting finds.
It’s slightly compacted upper surface was characterised in places by a layer of pale yellow-ish brown burnt soil. The midden fill showed many signs of burning – including char-staining on some ceramic shards – though the heat had not been that intense, for the fill contained several pieces of unburnt coal and charcoal.
Our first blue and white child’s marble;
Several large shards of a red flower patterned small plate;
Two whelk and two winkle shells;
A silver plated ‘fiddle back’ design salt/sauce spoon with 6 date/factory marks (though as yet illegible) – this design may date from the Georgian period onwards – we need to find out the best way of cleaning the marks of their deeply ingrained crud, without damaging the fabric of the spoon;
Some large fragments of a post 1920’s ‘Guinness is good for you’ pub ashtray;
Yet another part of a bisque doll of a type similar but different to those previously found;
- A bisque doll’s leg;
A belt buckle with a copper alloy ‘frame’ and a ferrous ‘prong’;
The possible shoulder joint of a ceramic figurine, maybe?;
- Another donkey horseshoe;
- The sidewall of a small sauce bottle;
- Several small light blue glass beads;
- Rodent bones – rat or rabbit?
- A solid section of antler or possibly even ivory?;
- A 1919 George V farthing – interesting that this is our second coin found dating 1919, and our other two coins were also of the reign of George V (the value of the coins found so far total a penny halfpenny!);
- The side panel of a relatively small glass bottle bearing the word ‘sauce’ – possibly a Garton’s HP Sauce bottle;
- A small shard of flat (window?) glass with red (painted?) top and bottom surfaces – possibly from a lamp?;
- A reasonably large quantity of rusty nails and other metal objects of an unknown nature, a range of glass shards (the only window glass shards were of the thinner type), and much more!
The west edge of the midden partly overlaid some badly laid loosely packed flints, which presumably were part of an approx. 3′ wide path. The wall, which bounded the south side of this grid square had been cut by the later bulldozer right down to immediately above the level of the path. I had expected to find at least the foundations for a brick pillar or quoin either side of the entrance-way, such as has generally been found elsewhere on the site, but there were no signs of any edges to the threshold of the gateway to be seen.
The demolition fill deposited over this area contained more .45 and .303 cartridges, as well as a smaller density of finds, but nothing of particular interest.
A small trench extension was made along the south side of the wall to compare the levels of the original ground surfaces on either side of the wall. As expected, though the bulldozed demolition fill starts to rise (or more accurately, the downwards slope was reduced) as it begins to form the large mound of demolition rubble further to its east, the underlying original ground surface starts to drop off relatively steeply.
Finds here were relatively few and unremarkable; the most noteworthy being more thick glass shards of a silvered mirror.