Every week the site is barely recognisable from the last! The well mentioned last week has been fully excavated. We wanted to see how deep it was but had reached legal depths for excavation so began to remove the upper layers of stone so as to excavate the lower levels. The positive side of intentionally destroying a very nice well is the masonry we have uncovered! We have discovered that the dressed limestone and clunch with smooth faced sides on the inside of the well have beautiful, irregular and intricately carved other faces (see picture, right)! Some of the stones still have red paint remaining on them (see picture, below). This is very exciting, and conclusive evidence that the stone found in the well was reused stone from the priory, as why else would you build a well with such lovely masonry?
An interesting twist in the tale is that the 'cut' for the well (the hole dug to put the stones in for the well) contains Medieval pottery, which would suggest the well was built in, or shortly after, the Medieval period. If this is the case, why were they using priory stone before it was destroyed? We'll have to wait for more dating evidence to find out.
In other areas of the site we have mostly dug through the post-medieval layers, and are hitting Medieval and earlier features. In particular we are finding big Medieval quarry pits containing Medieval rubbish: peg tiles, bone, pottery. The picture (right) shows one of several quarry pits under excavation: the pit has been quartered so as to see the cut of the original hole and the build up of layers of debris through time.
Having excavated through most of the Post-Medieval layers, we are now uncovering Medieval pottery, including this rather nice jug excavated by Adele (left). We'll be putting up more photos of Medieval pottery over the coming weeks. All our finds are coming back to the office to be washed, and as I write are being washed by a small army of volunteers! If you would like to volunteer to wash finds from Harvest Way, do fill in the volunteer form.