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Report 1 for 14 July 2013
Today we set out the trench, erected the fence around it, took the turf off and began the removal of the top soil. We were not expecting any significant finds today and there probably won’t be much tomorrow. We are hoping things will get more interesting on Wednesday.
Report 2 for 15 July 2013
We have continued with the removal of the top soil at a rather slow pace dictated by the heat. The deposit is not yet fully excavated but part of a brick foundation has emerged. This is more or less where I expected to find the south wall of the house but we need to see more to be certain. Work continues tomorrow.
Report 3 for 16 July 2013
Slow progress in the heat. At the end of the day we have still not cleared the top soil.
At the end of the day we finally finished clearing the top soil. The floor of the trench is now covered with a mass of demolition rubble. We will start excavating this tomorrow and things should get more interesting. We found two pieces of flecked tin glazed tile of late 16th or early 17th century date. They are similar to the ones we found last year although the pattern differs slightly.
CAPTION: The trench at the end of the day. A section of foundation can be seen centre right. This was probably the outside wall of the house. If so the photo looks from outside inwards. Most of the trench floor is covered with demolition rubble - click on the picture for a larger image.
Things have become more interesting today. We excavated the rubble to the south side of the foundation. I thought the foundation was the front outside wall of the house. We found a drain and gravel surface which could be the edge of the drive at the front of the house. This fits nicely with the interpretation of the wall. However, we also a second wall parallel to the front wall right at the southern end of the trench. This rather puzzling. It looks as if we have got two outside walls. It is possible that a new front was added to the house but this is very uncertain. In the next few days we will find out what is under the gravel which should clarify the interpretation and perhaps help with the dating.
CAPTION: The south end of the trench. The scale is on the gravel surface with the foundations of two walls to the left and right. The drain can be seen beyond the scale to the right - click on the picture for a larger image.
Yesterday we uncovered a gravel surface and drain between two walls at the south end of the trench. The aim of this is to try to find out when the gravel was laid and also to examine the history of the ground on which the house was built. We found that the gravel rested on an area of mortar which looks as it it was laid down when the northern most of the two walls was constructed probably in the 18th century. The mortar appears to rest on an earlier layer of gravel which we intend to excavate tomorrow. Hopefully we will then get some better dating evidence.We also excavated at the north end of the trench and have so far uncovered a small part of the floor foundations within the house. There was one particularly interesting find – a small piece of Reigate stone with a symbol carved on it – apparently a a cross in glory. This Christian symbol seems appropriate as the building was the home of the rector of Beddington from about 1600-1800. The carving may however, be Medieval.
CAPTION TOP: The excavation of the area between the walls at the south end of the trench
CAPTION BOTTOM: A piece of Reigate stone with a carving of the cross in glory
We continued excavating between the walls
at the south end of the main trench. I expected this to pass through the
foundations into the underlying soil where I hoped to find some finds to
give us a date. I was surprised when a north south running foundation
appeared passing below the 18th century south wall of the
house. This must relate to an earlier building. The finds from the soil
around this foundation suggest that it is late mediaeval – perhaps 14th
or 15th century. I am still thinking about the implications
We have had a big surprise today. We
continued excavating in the east side of the trench. I was expecting to
find a cellar continuing from an area we had excavated last year. The
cellar duly appeared but the wall did not look 17th century
which is what I was expecting. It looked very medieval. There was also a
large blocked door which showed that the cellar once extended westwards.
It was probably filled in the 18th century as the blocking
looked that sort of date.
We have done very little new excavation
today as we have been recording what we have uncovered. This involves a
detailed look at the structures and often results in further
discoveries. We found a couple of significant things today. The most
important is that the earlier of the two 18th century front
walls rests on earlier foundations although I am not at present certain
how much earlier. It is becoming clear that the house had a very
complicated structural history which will probably become clearer as I
work through the evidence we have generated.
Report 10 for 24th July 2013
finished the recording today without making an significant new
discoveries. We have now started backfilling and the foundations and
features are already covered. We hope to finish filling the trench
tomorrow and it will be reseeded when the ground is damp enough.
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