Another day spent in the peaceful setting of Winnall Mill where it was so quiet that we could hear the carp surfacing for air on the nearby pond and a heron fluttering past as we worked.
It was dry, although rain was forecast. Noelle and Margaret returned to the Walkway to complete the section just above the Outhouse revealing more of the drainage and gulley. It was an extension of an earlier trench that showed the mortared roof tiles all neatly lined up at an angle to form the basis for the start of the roof. More gutter parts were also found here amid the tangles of weeds and roots. Since lots of the original red roof tiles were also uncovered in this section, this area has probably not seen the light of day since the roof finally collapsed.
In the afternoon, while Julie finished off in the Cartshed trench, Francesca, Ian and Tina continued working on the Loading bay trench that cuts through the mound. As promised, Ian had produced a magnificent sieve set that is just the job to sort out this area. Francesca and Tina helped to sieve the soil from this trench and the latter also used her metal detector to find some interesting pieces among it.
Wednesday was the driest day in the whole week so those who attended felt lucky to be able to get outside and do some excavating. Some of our members were still grabbing a very welcome late summer holiday, maybe for the first time this year, so numbers were low but manageable within the social distancing rules.
Francesca, Sam and Tina were focussed on T25 cutting through what is either a heap of spoil or simply debris from surrounding buildings bull-dozed there sometime in the past. Judging by the collection of finds at the end of the day, especially after seiving and metal detecting, it seems likely that this particular section of the heap may never been examined before. The other reason for this trench was, of course, to examine the floor underneath, this area being where delivery carts would have arrived and manoeuvred round into position for loading and unloading.
Julie and Margaret continued up on the Walkway to clear the area near the gulley and the start of the rear roof, where a good collection of tiles and mortar is still being found in amongst the undergrowth and close to their original location. This is hard going, being a 10 - 20cm deep solid mat of material, but the path is gradually revealing its secrets.
The temperature was over 35c on the Winnall Mill site today with little accompanying breeze to cool the volunteers down. So everyone was grateful for the relative shade of the overhead trees.
As some members were on holiday the numbers were low, but more could stay for the whole session. Chris first helped Margaret to take some more measurements from the datum for the drawings, then he measured the rest of the accessible bricks requested by Murray. Keith continued with the spoil heap trench and was joined later by Ian with his new sieve set.
In the afternoon Francesca and Tina joined in with the sieving of soil from this and last week’s session revealing a mix of finds including some leather. Meanwhile Margaret continued to clear the area on the walkway to uncover more of the gutter with its angled row of mortared tiles, backed by bricks, that formed the start of the roof. Chris hopes to calculate the angle of the whole roof from this.
It was trying to rain when the morning team arrived on site, but it soon cleared up and proved to be a nice sunny day. There were seven of us altogether with others still grabbing a short holiday break while they could before any further lockdown restrictions could be imposed.
Today some of the team sieved more potential spoil heap that's comprised of CBM and mixed with the content of an unknown source from within the site, presumably shifted there in the past. The sieving produced an interesting collection of finds that made the exercise very worthwhile.
Trench 25 was considered complete, although the focus the previous week on extracting a rather long metal rail from among the debris had created a rather odd shaped trench that needed to be tidied up today before it could actually be drawn. In the event this took longer than expected and only the floor plan was actually recorded. Some things can’t be rushed.
Noelle finished off the long section that united the chimney trench on the walkway with its top step and also revealed the guttering and the neat row of mortared tiles of the old pitched roof. She then drew this portion in plan using former drawings to locate it accurately.