Today we had a site tour as a way of saying thank you to our fantastic volunteers who have freely given their time to wash finds from the site. Here they are wearing full PPE looking around our site.
Work continues apace. Toby has been excavating a seventeenth century brick-lined cellar, which he is now recording (see picture, left). The bricks have been 'robbed away' by people after the cellar went out of use, but one wall still stands. The cellar contained lots of burnt finds dating to the late 17th century, including Bellarmine pots, candle sticks and lots of burnt glass. This building might be associated with an earlier pub which stood on the site of the George and Dragon Coffee House which is on the 1811 maps, or it could belong to a manor house: we need to conduct more documentary research to identify which building required such a big cellar. We know many fires swept across 'bawdy Barnwell' in the Post-Medieval period, but that there was a big fire in 1731 - the burnt remains we've found here may well date to that fire!
In a brick-lined cess pit or soakaway we have found great quantities of finds dating to the mid nineteenth century - see picture right. Note the range of finds: from delicate crockery (such as blue and white ware and Mocha ware) and delicate glass objects, through to chunky inkpots and storage jars. Some delicate green, blue and white blown glass fragments were also found in this feature. We are trying to discover why such delicate blown glassmaking might have taken place on this site, at about the time when we suspect the buildings on the 1811 map were torn down to make way for the building of Leeke Street, Shamrock Passage and Brown's Yard in the 1870s. These new streets may have been built by Mendicity House, who created housing for poor folks. We're researching it at the moment and will keep you informed!
Finally, we continue to excavate wells. Rhiannon is excavating this Medieval well (see picture left), and has found some nice animal bone. This well is quite modest in size and has fewer finds compared to some of the others we have uncovered: note that it isn't lined with stones or bricks unlike some of the others, but is cut into the natural geology.