Today’s excavation of the rear floor of the Machine Room revealed lots more china, bottle and window glass and animal bones within the rubble. A heavy metal cooking pan was also found. Finally, sitting on the bedrock base was an impressively large circular metal band that has yet to be properly identified.
Our Chairman MikeField and his wife Jane were on site today too. Mike was interested in the arched feature cut into the stone on the Machine Room back wall, seen in top of photo below, which he thought might have been used to support a wooden beam.
Mike also offered to take away a sample of the large metal sheet found last week beneath the Machine Room brick floor. He feels that it needs closer examination, particularly to determine if it might be a recycled mill part.
Later Terry and Mike went up to Winnall farm to re-examine the mill stones that originally came from Machine Room.
Three ladies trowelling to find the bedrock floor.
A young visitor Cameron gets a taste for archaeology.
Meanwhile Gareth, who was overseeing young Cameron (he came with his sister who's a new member), started taking the various levels of the bedrock base exposed in the Outhouse and Livingroom floors last week along with the the yard area above exposed today.
Possible last excavation day for NWAGs 2018 season celibration BBQ
There was a good turn out of members today, plus visitors, for what was considered to be possibly our last day out on site. To celebrate another year’s successful dig, and with the farmer’s permission, we had a barbequed lunch and enjoyed Sam’s wonderfully cooked sausages and burgers.
Another day was spent at Winnall Mill, in that lovely autumn setting where hundreds of fallen yellow leaves floated on the nearby pond like a carpet. There was a group of eight members present, three focusing on the rear corner of the Machine Room floor (T002) where lots more finds were discovered among the fallen rubble. Also the eagerly sought sandstone bedrock was finally revealed.
Beavering away in the N.West corner of the Machine Room.
Checking the spoil heap for finds.
New member Ian tried his hand at sieving the spoil heap for overlooked small finds and later had a go at trowelling in the Machine Room.
What a lovely find! An old clay pipe bowl.
Terry was investigating the strange feature on the west wall which looks as if, for some reason as yet unknown, stone blocks have been used to fill a space between the back wall and the niche. Later he teamed up with Gareth to take some more levels across the site.
Find of the Month, a tin gunpowder pouch 19th century. Briliant find Ian.
This week, with heavy rain forecast, the group decided to stay indoors and sort some of the finds. With the promise of some of Terry's scrumptious homemade bread and soup for lunch, eight members gathered in the dry to tackle some of the finds trays that have been mounting up in our storage shed.
The finds shown below came from the building rubble in the Machine room at Winnall Mill just recently. The horse shoe is large, as you can tell from the scale measure, and probably came from a working horse, perhaps owned by the last miller. The shallow, heavy oval pan below also came from the same area and may have been used for cooking on the range in the cottage.
The building debris in that rear corner of the Machine room lies directly below what used to be a pantry, so the chances of the bits of china, pottery, animal bones and glass amongst it originating from there is quite high.
A large horse shoe found on Machine Room floor.
Is this a Skillet?
While Tina, Valerie Margaret and new member, Ian, cleaned more of the Winnall finds, along with other finds, Terry Sam, Francesca and Gareth sorted the finds from Furnace Farm excavated earlier in the year. In the process of searching for the location of the Furnace, it was discovered that the very overgrown foundations in the upper field actually belonged to some old cottages demolished in 1948. After seeking advice from an expert on old Furnace sites, the team was redirected to a more likely location in the lower field. Accordingly, and to avoid confusion while recording the finds later for a report, it was decided to treat each as a different site with a their own WSM nos. and to separate the finds to match.
It is one of the quirks of archaeology that, even when the ground has been geophysed first, the excavating team may still have to revise their original plans!
Anyone for soup?
Due to the bad weather (it actually snowed that day!) there was no excavating done this week. Instead everyone stayed inside in the warm and processed some of the many finds unearthed this year. For the uninitiated, this involves washing the finds from each tray, already carefully bagged and numbered so that their original source on the site could be traced. Once they are dry, and easier to examine, the items from each bag are weighed and recorded according to their material class (ie cermaics, glass, metal, etc), after which they are then entered onto a database. This helps us to date the site and build up a picture of its past life. Below is a nice example of one recent find from Winnall Mill.
Part of a brown pot found on the Machine Room floor at Winnall Mill
Terry talking to Victoria Bryant in front of our own display.
On Saturday 17th November a group of us attended the Worcestershire Archaeology Day at Worcester University. An annual event, this was a series of fascinating lectures given by various professionals, some of whom have recently worked on different sites within the county. In addition local organisations, associated mainly with archaeology and history, put on a table display to demonstrate what they too have been involved. (ours is seen above) The common factor between everyone is, of course, the recording and preservation of our county's history.
Another photo of our Winnall Mill BBQ to end the 2018 excavation season.
One of the mill stones removed from Winnall Mill sees the light of day again.