Tuesday, 12 April 2011

2. Tuesday 12th April 2011

Another good day in the Wilderness with no rain!

Anne Wood joined Sue and Ruth today. While Anne cleaned more moss off the walls Sue & Ruth dug a 50cms square in the SW corner inside the wall, looking for a possible floor surface. It took a long time to get through the hard packed earth and dandelion roots, but with care & perseverance a further pecked, curved stone was found under what had been thought to be the base of the wall.  Approx. 14 cms down a covering of lime mortar was revealed, which extended throughout most of this area.

We had a number of visitors, including members of the Civic Society, who came to lend a hand. Sheila Clarke did a very useful job of recording the various types of shells, which had been used in the design – the more one looks, the more shell and interesting stone patterns can be seen. Other visitors were all very interested and word had obviously spread around that we were excavating in the Grotto!

After lunch Anne, Sue and Ruth set to, to excavate a further trench running westwards from the back of the Grotto, hoping to see if there was further lime mortar here.  What we did find was masses of broken glass of every colour and a few coins mainly dated circa 1978. The thought was that the youth of that era practiced emptying the bottles and then smashed them against the wall!

As ever time ran out all too quickly and we have to hope that we find that elusive floor tomorrow - there is still all the recording to be done!

Ruth Spencer

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