An overcast but warm day, saw six members of NWAG on site at Winnall Mill. New member Chris was assisted by Ian later by Keith and Sam. The job in hand was to clear the area to the rear of the Cool House ready for drawing as part of the Stage 2 report. Sam had been reinforcing the base of the Overflow where the water enters the pipe under the track.
Looking up at the +6m high Winnall Overflow
Meanwhile Liz and Terry were perched on the top of the Overflow looking for the start of the leat proper. There are clear signs that the sandstone bedrock had been cut to form a giant set of steps to break the fall of water. This work was most probably carried out at the beginning of the watermill construction, hundreds of years ago!
More work will need to be carried out here.
Top of the Overflow showing the clean cut sandstone step
with the wall left acting as a possible spillway down the steps.
It was good to be back at Winnall after the Covid-19 Lockdown. Rain had been forecast for most of the day, but it stayed dry until 3pm, which was great. To comply with the Government regulations regarding distancing we met in 2 smaller groups, one in the morning (Noelle, Keith Liz & Margaret) and one in the afternoon (Francesca, Sam, Julie & Tina). The morning “shift” started to clear the site of undergrowth with Noelle using her trusty strimmer. (Tina did more in pm). Liz was allocated Testpit in R03 which she completed and recorded on context sheet, also accredited as one of her university Degree tasks. Noelle and Margaret looked for the others Testpits in R04 to measure their exact locations.
Meanwhile Keith (and later Sam) after helping with general clearance, started a new trench in R14 area near the Trackway and south wall looking for cart tracks. The first thing Keith found was the remains of a metal wash tub or baby bath! Later Sam uncovered at one end of the trench an interesting hand cut surface with tool/machine marks visible which will be investigated further next week. It was an exciting find.
Margaret cleaned the more exposed Cart Shed wall (T08) ready to draw in elevation as only a done on plan so far. Noelle (& Julie pm) continued to excavate the west end of the Walkway T13 and a metal guttering bracket in situ was re-exposed. Work had to stop due to bee’s nest being found later by Julie on the NE side!
Today the group got together to do further finds processing that involved weighing, recording and labelling.
Francesca and Margaret had both brought their computers so that, when questions arose about the correct locations or recording of any artefact or group of artefacts, they were able to cross-check them on their systems. With so many artefacts being found on one particular site, we found that a few had escaped being recording earlier, so this is an opportunity to ensure that they too were entered onto the database.
These members were involved in the weighing and recording process, which is also a learning process for some of our newer members who might be less familiar with the different local ware types within the whole potttery assemblage. Meanwhile other members were either reorganising our NWAG display board or continuing with labelling the artefacts.
It was a very hot & humid sunny day so the team were grateful to be able to work in the shade.
Still split into 2 groups ( am & pm) according to Covid rules, they set about measuring some old bricks, chosen at random over the whole site by Murray for dating purposes. This included the Stable area, the Cottage, the Mill house & Wheelpit, and the Yard Steps which had to be uncovered yet again.
Ian brought alonghis Strimmer to clear more vegetation on the leat and the Living room (R04)was tidied up so that photos could be taken with a ranging pole of the whole room later by Chris.
Meanwhile in R03 Liz drew Test pit 1 for the official drawing and refilled it Then, unsupervised, she drew the back wall of the stable which was extended further in the recent past and looked slightly different from the original drawing.
The Cart Shed wall (R08) had been cleaned up prior to being drawn. But after comparing it to the original drawing, it was decided to excavate a little more of the floor area T07 as the stone & brick wall seemed to go down further than first shown. So Keith & Margaret made trench the whole length of the wall to lower the ground level down to the bedrock. When Julie worked on it later, under some tumbled bricks, she found a metre long metal hinge which might be related to the building.
Tina cleared away more vegetation, while Sam continued on (R12) T21, instead working towards the back wall, to remove the compacted surface covering a nicely smoothed track that he found last week. Encouragingly it continued on.
PS Apologies to our readers about the lack of photos but we are having a few internet problems. They will be added later.