Wednesday was a glorious day, a real Indian Summer! There were six members on site making the most of the lovely day and with plenty to do.

Testpit 5 was started, as requested by Terry. Sam and Keith initially worked on this together, with Sam later carefully trowelling it.

The eastern section of T25 was drawn by Margaret, which then meant that Ian, Keith and Tina could metal detect and thoroughly examine and sieve the contents of the remaining high wall to the west of it. 

Julie finished the job of weighing the broken roof tiles with Margaret, which also effectively cleared the Walkway trench area for further drawing. 

A dry day was spent on site, although the round was damp from recent rain. More soil was removed and sieved from the spoil heap in the loading bay yielding bone, metal objects, plaster, pottery and more gun cartridges.

Sam continued on with Test pit 5, down through compacted sandy soil to discover a nice piece of slipware covering a hole in the North West corner. He continued down with a sondage and found it filled with loose bricks.

Margaret completed drawing the plan view of the trench on the Walkway with its drainage channel beneath the edge of a row of mortared roof tiles.

The season is nowdrawing to a close and there cannot be many more weeks left working here. It has been a very enjoyable site to work on and we are always deeply indebted to Tony Symonds, the land owner, for allowing us to continue excavating it over the years. 

On this damp, cloudy but pleasant autumn day the two teams (4 in am and 5 in pm) spent some time just tidying up the site to make it neat and secure.

Tina had brought along her metal detector so she went over the area in front of R05 (the Mill cottage living room). Little excavation had been done here and today she unearthed quite a lot of metal and guttering, which is logical given its location below what would have originally been the edge of the roof. There was also a horseshoe found, a large one and possibly from a carthorse.

Meanwhile other members continued to sieve the spoil heap finding items like bone, glass, leather and metal.

Tony Symonds, the landowner, came by later and chatted to Francesca. As a result he kindly agreed to let us continue in future our metal detecting in the vicinity, but extend it more further afield.  Should be interesting!

We were back out in the field today, and on a new site called Hillgrove. Thankfully the weather, which has been awful this month, was good and the rain kept off. Situated near Holt, it belongs to a friend of Ian Roger’s who has kindly let us to do some test-pitting in what is now his garden but was formerly an orchard. It is located not far from a known Romano-British site that was excavated back in 2020, so the owners are hoping similar evidence might be found here.

The field, triangular in shape and sloping steeply northwards, has a well and several springs dotted around it. The mother of Paul the owner recalled Willow or ‘osier’ rods (withies) used in basket making, being grown by the stream at the lower level, which provided us with a nice piece of social history.

Last week Ian and Keith started Test-pit T01, which is sited on the higher ground, and this week they continued on down with it, recording everything on they way until, in Context 4, they found evidence of burning (charcoal) on the clay. Test-pit T02 was started by Sam and Margaret lower down, finding only evidence of a scattering of stones on Context 3 along with a small amount of coal and charcoal and a thin piece of old Tobacco Pipe.

Meanwhile Terry did a survey of the site to look for other potential test-pits areas, while Tina unearthed some interesting metal finds with her metal detector.