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Organised by the Carshalton and District History and Archaeology Society
Monday 13th July 2015 until completion

Carew Manor Stable Block, Beddington Park, excavation 2015 - John Phillips writes:

The Carshalton and District History and Archaeology Society is to investigate the site of an outbuilding (57 in the 1820 image left) in the former service court of Carew Manor (62), Beddington.

The excavation is part of the Society’s contribution to a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for Beddington Park which has been submitted by Sutton Council and has successfully passed stage 1.

The excavation will seek to answer two key questions:

1. What was the original purpose of the building?

2. When was it erected?

This will give us a better understanding of the development of the house's service court and the changing relationship between the house and the park.

Design for the 2015 excavation - click HERE

Day 3
1Work in progress..
Day 3
Day 4
1Uncovering foundations
Day 6
2Gentle brushwork
Day 6
2The Gov'ner
Day 6
2Roger & Richard record
Day 6
2Foundations uncovered
Day 6
2What a bounder!
Day 6
2The Ladies formation..
Day 6
2..digging team

Report 1 for 13 July 2015

We set the trench out and took off most of the top soil exposing three layers of flint and gravel

Report 2 for 14 July 2015

We cleared the remaining soil off the gravel and started excavating the deposit at the north end of the trench closest to the river. This had a smooth top and looked like the surface of a yard or track. It was surprisingly deep and extended down below the pre-1990 river bed. This is odd but the significance is at present unclear.

We also excavated the gravel at the other end of the trench and just before the end of work we uncovered part of a floor and a foundation which appears to the relate to the stable or barn that we are investigating. We will uncover this and examine it more thoroughly tomorrow.

Report 3 for 15 July 2015

We have found a chalk and flint foundation at the south end of the trench close to the projected position of the north wall of the building we are looking for. There is also a short section of internal wall. I suspect the foundation is Tudor but we have not yet got any dating evidence. We have also excavated part of the gravel outside the building to the north. This contains a great deal of broken roof tile which presumably came from the building. There is very little brick so it seems likely that the structure was timber framed and rested on a low wall to keep the wood off the damp ground – a common practice in the late middle ages.

We have found a number of horse teeth but curiously little other bone. It seems likely that the building was a stable be I can’t be certain at this stage.

CAPTION: The foundations. The inside of the building is to the left.

Report 4 for 16 July 2015

We have made an extension on the west side of the trench to expose more of the foundation and have started work on extension to the south. The foundation is visible in the first but not yet in the second.

We have also excavated some of the deposits around the foundation and found that only a single course survives which rests directly on natural gravel. We have not discovered any pottery or other small finds which would help us date the structure which is rather disappointing.

We will continue work tomorrow and may yet find more evidence. Work will probably end on Sunday.

CAPTION: 1The chalk/flint foundations.

Report 5 for 17 July 2015

We have excavated a large part of an extension to the south end of the trench which was designed to examine part of an inside wall running across the building. The wall ended after about 2m. This suggests that the building originally had aisle like the nave of a church. This is not at all surprising given that the building appears to have been about 11m (36 ft) wide which is a little more than the great hall in Carew Manor.

There is still no finds that would help with dating.

One curious feature is that we have found a lot of front teeth from horses but few of no side teeth and only scraps of bone. This must have some significance which currently eludes me.

I think the trench will be open until Sunday and will be backfilled next week.

CAPTION: 2The inside wall coming off the exterior wall.

Report 6 for 18 July 2015

We opened a small new trench to try to locate the western end of the building so far with only partial success. We have found the continuation of the north wall seen in the main trench but there is as yet no sign of the end wall. Work on this will continue tomorrow.

Work in the main trench is nearly complete. It has been cleaned ready for drawing tomorrow and only a few small points remain to be investigated.

We may start backfilling tomorrow evening and will finish it next week.

Report 7 for 19 July 2015

We continued work on the small second trench where found a continuation of the wall. Further excavation has uncovered a short length of southward running wall showing that this was the corner of the building.  There was no sign of a northward running wall for the cross wing shown on the 1820 map (see top of page). A small amount of dating evidence has turned up – chiefly a few bricks which had been used to pave a floor. One of these was used as rubble in the wall core. It looks 18th century rather than Tudor. It is possible that the building was erected in the early 18th century when the park landscape and the setting of the house was altered. This is however very uncertain.

We have now started backfilling the trenches. When that is done we will need to take a detailed look at the finds to see what we can learn from them. The writing up process will then start.

CAPTION LEFT: The corner of the building exposed in the new trench.

CAPTION RIGHT: The foundation in the main trench

Report 8 for 20 July 2015

We have finished backfilling the trench so that the only remaining work on site is tidying up and reseeding. I have begun the process of writing up which I hope to finish before the end of the year.

At some point there will be a fuller report on this site but I am not certain how long that will take

CAPTIONS: Horses' teeth.


Unless otherwise stated, the text of the Reports on this page is Copyright © 2015 Carshalton and District History and Archaeology Society

Images are Copyright © 2015 Friends of Honeywood Museum, John Phillips, 1Mike Bale and 2Elizabeth Price

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