Friday 15 August

Weather: sunny, a few fluffy clouds and a light breeze

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Rosemary Ryden, Chris Hobbs, Luke Gearing, Mick James, Pauline Gimson, Muriel Hardman, Alan Goodwin, Owain James, Phil Thomas, Nigel Harper-Scott, Tony Driscoll, Freddie Sharman, Christl Squires, Anne Lake, Cameron Gormill

Fragment of a quernstone

Fragment of a quernstone

After the downpour yesterday evening, the topsoil is very clearly visible and the patches left over the presumed clay floor stand out. Mick is removing them. Doing so is proving very easy: in most places, it is just a superficial skim that’s left over the yellowish clay. The edge of the clay corresponds roughly with the edge of the platform, lending weight to my conjecture that it’s the remains of the floor of the last building on the site.

Medeival pottery (tenth to fifteenth centuries)

Medieval pottery (tenth to fifteenth centuries)

Today feels like a warm spring day, so we’ve had a real variety of seasons this week. The crickets are even buzzing again.

We’re now at a stage where plans are becoming necessary again, initially to show the extent of the clay ?floor. Tony and Nigel have both finished digging, so they are starting a plan. I’ve asked them to record the root traces at this level, so that we’ll be able to tell if they’ve affected underlying deposits.

A number of interesting finds are turning up in washing that weren’t spotted during excavation. The best is a broken gun-flint, which has lost a corner (perhaps during firing). There are also sherds of medieval material, including St Neots type ware, Hertfordshire greyware and a late medieval ?lead-glazed ware. It’s interesting that there is very little post-medieval pottery, although there are clay pipes and glass. This suggests to me that occupation came to an end before 1600 (and possibly much earlier still) and that the glass and clay pipe fragments show the presence of farm workers.

The excavation trench in Church Field

The excavation trench in Church Field


About Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

I'm the Archaeology Officer for North Hertfordshire District Council Museum Service. I was born and brought up in Letchworth Garden City, so I have a life-long connection with the area.

Posted on 15 August 2008, in Fieldwork, Norton Church Field Dig 2008. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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