Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Archaeological Dig, Week 1

Caroline Raynor from Oxford Archaeology North spared us some of her time this morning, during a break in the rain, to tell us about the substantial progress she and her colleague have made over the past three days.
We are currently expecting to unearth George Quayle's slipway and perhaps, too, the remains of mechanical contraptions and of structures such as George's faux boat deck. So far Caroline has identified six or seven distinct layers of deposits, and that's just in the first 75 centimetres (two and a half feet, if you prefer) of digging! This suggests that the slipway may have been used as a dump on numerous occasions.
More interestingly she has uncovered some interesting features of the building itself. Chief amongst these is that we can now see the head of George's sea gateway. It's located in a wall that is 2.5 metres (eight feet) thick. We had thought the lowest part of that wall was just a rough and relatively recent buttress, but that's clearly not the case. So it seems Peggy would have been pulled out of the sea and up a tunnel...

Dig in progress: L - R: Steve Blackford; Head of Properties at MNH; Caroline Raynor from OAN North; Andy Johnson Field Archaeologist at MNH; and Roland Ardern-Corris, MNH technician.

The sea arch emerges....

Andy inspects a recently discovered buttress

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