Monthly Archives: May 2014

Goldingham Hall Dig Day Five 31.05.14

Today was yet another brilliant day on site at Goldingham Hall, Bulmer. As today was the last full day of excavating on site the focus was to try and reach conclusions on the features we’ve been diligently excavating over this weekend and last. We were joined by Cat Ranson of Access Cambridge Archaeology whose opinion and supervision were invaluable.

Trench A

Trench A was again a hive of activity on various features, producing some exciting finds.

A view of Trench A

Abi attempts to conclude what is happening in the original oven feature

Peter mattocks through the circular feature which was revealed yesterday

This worked flint implement (of probable late Neolithic/early Bronze Age date) came from the fill of the circular feature

Nick, Lorraine, Paul and Tim “Keep Calm and Carry on Digging”…..

…..and find an interesting iron arrowhead

Trench B

Trench B had a small but dedicated team today who carried on earnestly trying to get to the bottom of that ditch

Trench B gets deeper and deeper

Trying to find the bottom

Trench C

There were three features being completed on Trench C today along with planning and recording

View of Trench C

Corinne gets stuck in

The “rock face” (and now SVCA mascot) from Trench C’s post-hole feature

Tomorrow is our Open Day, from 2-4pm. If you’re interested in what’s been happening here at Goldingham or would like to find out more about SVCA, please pop on down and see why…..

…’s fun to be in S-V-C-A!!!

Goldingham Hall Dig Day Four 30.05.14

Today’s report from the trenches comes courtesy of Aldous Rees.

Today started with a good clean of all the trenches, due to sections and surfaces being damaged by the wet weather. Once this was finished a number of features were continued.

Trench A
In trench A the ditch feature which appears to truncate the oven was continued down, within the clay lower layers of this feature burnt clay and a piece of pot was found. The oven was also cleaned and photographed today. Once this was done the edge of the oven was carefully removed so its construction could be determined.

The oven feature with ranging pole in place

Trench A

The ditch which truncates the oven possibly joins up with another ditch feature found last year. Further cleaning and digging tomorrow should help determine this.
The rest of the flint layer was removed by Ashley and a mini digger. This has revealed what could be a possible ditch or posthole. This feature is defined by a chalky soil on the majority of it sides. A section will be dug through this tomorrow determine what it is and to get some dating evidence.

Ashley moving the spoil heap with a mini digger

Trench B
Trench B once again continued to dig the large ditch feature, this produced bits of pot and bone. The other features in this trench were photographed after the cleaning had been done. The plan for tomorrow is to continue down and draw the sections.

Feature 17 – photographed with ranging pole to show scale of the feature


Diggers hard at work in the big ditch in trench B

Trench C
Trench C produced a few new features today once the cleaning had been done. This new feature appears to be a small pit or posthole and could possibly form part of an aisled building. Feature 8 which was thought to be a posthole last year was dug to natural on one side and the rest will be completed tomorrow.
The other pit or posthole feature (22) next to this one, had the edge defined and the bottom has been found. The flint with an apparent face on it looks like a natural stone, but it looks like it eyes have been defined to make them stand out. This is likely to have been deliberately placed within the feature.
The other features within this trench which could either be a ditch or another series of postholes produced a nice piece of pot today.

The aim by the end of tomorrow is to have decided what is happening. This site doesn’t seem to stop throwing up great finds and surprises.

Goldingham Hall Day Three 25.05.14

Well, another good day excavating at Goldingham Hall, Bulmer, and this time the weather was on our side! We could even have an al fresco lunch.

Special thanks go out to Aldous Rees who was a superb ‘site director’ today.

So, here are the updates from the trenches:

Trench C

From beneath the packing material of the post-hole feature came a sherd of green-glazed pottery. Although this appears to be an earlier form of green-glazed pot with a very thick, grey fabric if this feature is indeed a post-hole the age of the building has come forward significantly. We will await pottery analysis to confirm a more precise date.

Further along in Trench C, Phil removed the darker material from the slot and cleaned up the opposite face to see if we could find this supposed pit revealing itself. We’re going on the theory that this is a pit within a ditch (of course!)

Trench B

Trench B continues to go down, down, down…..The ditch just keeps going! We will pursue getting to the bottom of this one, both literally and figuratively, next weekend. Meanwhile, yet another large pig jawbone was found at the bottom. (So much pig!)

Trench A

Lots happening in Trench A. The flint surface feature was removed by Peter to find it was lying on a chalk bed, at least clarifying that this flint surface was purposely put here…..but why? Near this flint surface Ashley and David came upon another oven feature. There were differing opinions as to whether it’s the top or the bottom of an oven. We will await Carenza’s instruction next Friday before pursuing this feature any further.

Near to all this Steve diligently carried on revealing several new features if very few finds. What will the ACA team make of this?

And, Abi carried on with the small side extension to the original oven feature. Analysis done last year tells us that these ovens were for bread making. With all the pig bones coming up from the surrounding area, I wonder how many bacon sarnies have been consumed on this site!

The afternoon saw Aldous giving a training session on planning and drawing, a skill which is invaluable if SVCA want to be more self-sufficient.

And, Graham did a bit of metal-detecting around the spoil heaps.

So, we will pick back up next Friday-Sunday with supervision from Dr Carenza Lewis and Cat Ranson of Access Cambridge Archaeology. Our Open Day is Sunday, 1st June 2-4pm, so if you’re interested in what’s been happening or would like to find out more about our group, pop on down and have a look.

via PressSync

Goldingham Hall Day Two 24.05.14

Day Two of SVCA’s dig at Goldingham Hall started with the threat of severe weather. Luckily, the day turned out to be much brighter than expected, with lots of interesting finds and the revelation of new features. We were lucky enough to have Dr Carenza Lewis of Access Cambridge Archaeology on site today to guide us through the archaeology.

Trench A, lovingly known as the ‘pig’ trench, indeed produced more pig/boar fragments including this large jawbone.

Aldous and Abi also finally reached the bottom of the ovens, and initially it would appear this particular oven is three-tiered with the first one actually dug into the ground.

Elsewhere in Trench A, near the site of the original pig skeleton found in October, work continued with the removal of a large flint area (possible floor surface?) and the removal of a section of charred earth and chalk layer which produced a few pottery sherds.

This morning saw most of the work in Trench B focusing on the stepping back of one side due to the great depth of the ash-filled ditch. It was all hands on deck to get this done as quickly as possible and Ashley Cooper, owner of Goldingham, brought the muscle!

A new linear feature was also discovered, and one goal of tomorrow is to have a training session on proper recording procedures using this feature for practice.

In Trench C, Ellie and Jan continued excavating a possible post hole which was lined with a significant amount of flint packing.

And, at the other end of this trench is a rather perplexing series of features which currently is looking like a possible small pit cut into a ditch feature. This one really had us scratching our heads.

Hopefully, Phil will get to the bottom of this one tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning will be spent finishing off the jobs assigned today with the afternoon focused on finds washing and section drawing and planning.

The prize for sherd of the day goes to Nikolai, who found this whopper in the charred layer in Trench A.

Not bad for his first ever archaeological experience!

We’ve had really positive feedback from everyone involved and it’s only going to get better from here! Watch this space

via PressSync

Goldingham Hall Dig Day 1


Goldingham Hall Day 1

Today’s dig was dedicated to the memory of the late Mick Matthews, whose vast collection of archaeological equipment has been given to the group by his widow Marilyn. It was lovely to welcome Marilyn on a visit this afternoon, and we hope that she enjoyed her tour of the site with Historian and Landowner Ashley Cooper.

Today we were led by the amiable Cat Ranson from Access Cambridge Archaeology. Although she was ‘the boss’ she ably guided us towards confidently managing our own work in the future. Ashley Cooper was our attentive and knowledgeable host; many thanks to him for allowing us to continue to dig this site.

Trench A

Feature 3: a ditch containing burnt ash and charcoal as well as the jaw bone of an unidentified animal.
Feature 15: another ditch curving around a cobbled area and containing burnt ash and clay.
Feature 14: an oven, which was partially excavated last time; we have now reached the bottom.
Feature 10: a linear feature containing bone and pottery.

Features 3, 15 and 10 will be excavated again tomorrow. As this was the trench where the pig was found last time, who knows what we might find!

Trench B

Feature 16: a wide, deep ditch (we are still trying to find the bottom) where today we have found a large quantity of medieval pottery and bone.
Features 17-18: a ditch terminus and a pit
Tomorrow we will continue to excavate both features, although feature 16 is getting so deep Jane was beginning to wonder if she would ever escape!

Trench C

Feature 8: a pit containing oyster shells and charcoal. Today, another pit was found cutting through it.
Feature 7: has been fully excavated and contains a linear feature and a pit


£2500 Grant Received From Stour Valley Environment Fund

Trowels at the ready, Stour Valley Community Archaeology are about to embark on their first excavation, which will take place at Goldingham Hall, Bulmer on Friday 23rd May 2014, thanks to a grant of £2,500 received from Dedham Vale & Stour Valley Environmental Fund via the Essex Community Foundation.

The community excavations will take place from Fri. 23rd May – Sun. 25th May and Fri. 30th May – Sun. 1st June. Dr Carenza Lewis (well-known from Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’) and Access Cambridge Archaeology will be coming along to help give support during the excavations.

The inaugural day’s digging will be dedicated to the memory of the late Mick Matthews, a local archaeologist & metal detectorist, and a special guest on the day will be his widow, Marilyn, who has so kindly donated Mick’s equipment to SVCA. No doubt the spirit of Mick will be looking down on us & overseeing our progress!

Sunday 1st June will be an ‘Open Day’ when visitors can come along & see what we have discovered. There will be guided tours of the site, a display of finds & the opportunity to perhaps ‘have a go’ at being an archaeologist. SVCA committee members will be on hand to give information & answer any queries. So…….why not come along & find out more about joining your own local ‘Time Team’!!!!!