Beneath the shade of the Ash trees on a very warm July day members worked in two different areas at Winnall Mill. Today’s main task, though, was to learn the function of the mysterious piece of brittle metal sheet unearthed last week, Given where it was found, lying on the Machine Room floor, it was originally thought to be part of a bucket from the water wheel. But after carefully checking the dimensions of the wheel pit it was decided that the sheet was too big to be the bucket of the waterwheel.

 

 

As it turned out we discovered that it went deeper, under another floor surface and, after first photographing the metal sheet in situ, the team set about removing it. All the while it was being excavated water was seeping into the trench, which was a possible clue to our next and most astonishing discovery. Immediately underneath the metal sheet was a large ceramic bowl, sadly broken! It was lying face down and appeared to be supporting the metal, which led the team to wonder if it had in fact been some sort of crude drainage system?

 pot3

pot1

Meanwhile at another location, just in front of the Cart shed, the search for the missing steps continued. The east/west trench (otherwise known as Steve’s Trench) was extended northwards, to where it drops down to the privy, and the sandstone shapes that soon appeared certainly seem to suggest three steps, albeit very worn, steps leading down to the privy.

 

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