August Community Dig – update on trenches

Here is the plan for the position of trenches for our August 2014 Community Dig.

In Victory Field, trench 1 will examine the eastern part of the bank which we excavated on the tithe barn side of the wall. Geophysics in this area adjacent to the wall is a little mystifying, showing an area blank of masonry, but next to a cover of masonry, much wider than expected from surface indications of our bank. So we sort this out by digging it!

Trench 2 is a challenge. I am looking for another side to the defensive enclosure implied by our April work, and one possibility is that a return angle (ie a northern bank) may be adjacent to Pound Lane. On the 18th century map I have used you can see how Pound Lane runs from the Frome Road at a right angle and enters the Barton Farm complex at the NE corner. Possibly the lane ran in along a pre-existing boundary. When you visit the site, note the high level of the field adjacent to the bank. Much of the surface has been scooped out to form the playing field, but if you examine the area near the gate (trench 2 location), you will note that you are beyond the scooped-out area, and the profile – if you look up the field then back towards Pound Lane – rises against the general fall of the land towards the town centre. Also, see the large slabs of limestone poking out in the cut near the gate – these look like re=deposited chunks, not undisturbed bedrock. So maybe it’s worth digging…

In Hen Field (which is now the current name for the field adjacent to the tithe barn) you will see the location of our April trenches. Of the new works, Trench 3 is sited to examine a possible ditch. This shows faintly on the geophysics and could belong with the defensive bank. Trench 4 should pick up more of the bank and may unravel some of the mysteries posed by the geophysics in this area. There is a ‘white’ area, ie low resistance, which maybe just natural clay, maybe a ditch. We need to look at it if we have the time. Equally, in trench 5, I would like to examine an area closer to the Tithe Barn, to see if there is any sign of Saxon or Medieval occupation predating the barn. We will need to remove spoil dumped from the carpark area. I suspect we will not have the resources for this one.

That’s the thinking. Thank you in anticipation for your support.

Roy Canham

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