Friday 5th July 2013

The end of the first week has seen a lot of soil shifted, a lot of heads scratched, and a lot of new friends made.
Today was a big day for Trench 1, when the last of the infill of the paddling pool was removed. It has been pretty hard work in the glorious sunshine, so after the plans and photography had been completed, we celebrated in a fitting manner… by having a ‘paddle’ in the pool! Here are the dig team with their trousers rolled up…
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Meanwhile, in Trench 3, we have uncovered more of the bandstand wall, and located one of the ‘turns’ in this octagonal structure, which will help us determine its dimensions. The brickwork is well coursed, with a wider foundation plinth underneath.

In Trench 4, we have removed the clay from the artificial mound (a ‘landscape’ feature designed to provide a viewing platform and a suitable promenade in the north-west corner of the park), only to discover another layer rich in artefacts underneath. This may well be the garden soil of Ducie House, enriched with the clay pipe stems, broken crockery and remnants of meat joints, from the house’s 19th century inhabitants. We may also have found an earlier path, underlying the red blaize surface of the park path, which seems to have followed its course faithfully.

Meanwhile, across the other side of the park, we are preparing to excavate our small test pits in the Gentlemens’ Shelter, by conducting geophysics (resistivity) across the area. Here is one of the directors, Dr Hannah Cobb, processing the results in her tea break.

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Tomorrow is our Open Day, and we look forward to sharing the results so far with park visitors, and planning for week 2.

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