Thursday 2 August
Weather sunny & dry, then overcast
On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Mick James, Tony Driscoll, Alan Goodwin, Phil Thomas, Philip Dean, Mervyn Evans, Frankie Saxton, Kat Maddison, Chris Appleyard, Chris Hobbs
We began by giving the area planned yesterday a thorough spraying, which did allow things to show up. It’s slow progress with the planning, though.
I trained people in the use of the dumpy level, both how to set it up and how to read the Sopwith staff. We had a thorough search for the temporary bench marks established in December 1985, but none of them appears to have been on anything solid, such as a concrete post, so we can’t use them.
Someone was using an EDM in the churchyard, which seemed promising: perhaps they had levelling data that we could use. He was surveying the churchyard path for a new wheelchair access. Unfortunately, he only had the value of the destroyed bench mark on the south-west buttress of the church tower, which has been destroyed. He was hoping that we could give him some levelling data…
Planning continues to be slow and I have had to mark out where I believe that I can see the boundaries between contexts (which are still extremely vague).
I established a temporary benchmark on a horizontal beam supporting the cattle trough to the south of the site compound and we were able to level the plan.
Excavation of the northern part of the site revealed that (5) is superficial to the north-east, trowelling down rapidly onto lighter material that may be the same as (4) and which looks as if it may be the final floor of the barn. It is relatively chalky and very compacted. A horseshoe appears to be partly embedded in it and partly within (5), while a thin sheet of iron lay at the interface between the two. There are also more fragments of the glassy clinker appearing in (5). If I am correct in regarding it as material from the farmyard surface, I now wonder if this is evidence that the yard was bulldozed at the time of demolition, piling material over the foundations of the demolished barn.
The number of roots continues to be an irritation.
We finished around 1 pm so that I could go to Letchworth Museum.