Well, we were blessed with another beautiful day to dig at Goldingham Hall. Overall, it was a good day of archaeology, albeit a slow one, but finds and features can’t be rushed. A lot of jobs were completed, including loads of planning and drawing.
Trench E has been totally completed, but has provided at least one early sherd of crudely-made pottery (which has been sparse at this part of the site) to date the larger feature.
Trench G has identified the rather steep sides of their ditch feature and are nearing the bottom, and it appears that there are two separate fills.
MEGA Trench DF was a hive of activity. The newly opened small extension appears to have multiple pits sited on the earlier ditch; these will be sectioned today. Loads of pottery, bones and shells keep coming up, but also one shard of curved, delicate green glass with incised decoration. Could this hint at high status activity happening at Goldingham?Elsewhere in DF other postholes and pit features were photographed and recorded.
Thanks to Dr Tim Dennis who came out to visit and helped us plot in a few extra measurements. Ashley was also busy with the GPS and measuring tape plotting in his test pit finds from 20 years ago to join the final report.
We’ll finish off all our administrative jobs today, get started with the finds processing (thanks Julie and Jill!) and have a look at future sites for excavation, including the flint platform near the Belchamp Brook.
The final excavation of this phase of SVCA’s explorations at Goldingham Hall got underway yesterday, Friday 11 September. The archaeological aims of this three-day excavation are to fill in a few missing pieces so that the report from the last three years can be completed. Thanks to a £1500 grant from Braintree District Council’s Mi-Community Initiative, we are once again able to have professional archaeologists on site to guide us through the complicated nature of this fascinating site. Thanks so much to Cat Ranson and John Newman from Access Cambridge Archaeology for their wisdom and guidance!
To that end, the focus is on a few key areas. The bulk between previous trenches D and F, creating MEGA trench DF (doughnut Friday), has been removed as well as a slight extension. Trench E has a few, complicated, possibly prehistoric features to explore. New Trench G has been opened based on Tim Dennis’ (and the brave assistants who stood out in the harsh March weather) magnetometry survey to explore one, seemingly isolated linear feature.
The majority of yesterday was spent cleaning back and tidying up the new and old areas to get a clearer view of what’s happening. The MEGA trench revealed a series of smaller postholes as well as a small area rich in 12th century pottery and food waste.
Trench G revealed the linear feature and is now having a metre section cut through it. It includes an area of burning and has revealed mostly bone and burnt clay, but has also produced 11th century pottery.
Trench E is incredibly confusing and had us all scratching our heads yesterday. There are several features happening all on top of each other and we believe some of these to be natural, perhaps glacial features. More will be revealed today.
A big thank you must go to Jane, from Travels in Time Archaeology,mand Corinne and Phil for supporting and engaging the 33 pupils from Bulmer Primary School who came out yesterday afternoon to try their hand at archaeological practice, tying in with their Anglo-Saxon curriculum theme.
SVCA has embarked on an interesting project with The Swan Hotel, Lavenham and with The Eighth in the East group.
On Wednesday 3rd June, SVCA committee members Peter Hart, Corinne Cox & Phil Cox, along with SVCA member Anne Grimshaw, met with Martin Cuthbert (8th in the East Community Archaeologist) and Jane Larcombe (Business Development Manager, The Swan at Lavenham) in the Airmen’s Bar inside The Swan Hotel.
This famous bar was a popular watering hole for many Allied Servicemen during WW2, who were based nearby. It became the favourite venue for many US Airmen based at Lavenham, who signed their names along with their rank, place of origin & mission successes on the plaster walls between the timber beams in the bar.
The project has two phases, the first, which has been completed, is the careful photographing of the remaining signatures and other information. SVCA members are now invited to help transcribe and enter the information onto a database for 8th in the East.
The second phase will be for interested SVCA members to research the lives of the servicemen and try to find links with existing relatives, so as to build up a picture of life in wartime East Anglia for posterity.
Corinne & Phil at the SVCA tent
This project was highlighted at Monday’s Lavenham Carnival where members of the public were invited to get interested in and join in with the project.