TRUST: CROFT CASTLE AND PARKLAND
This project came about as the result of a need to begin major engineering
work to repair and conserve a series of dams, waterways and pools in
Fishpool Valley, Croft Castle, Herefordshire. The work in the park is
generally thought of as dating largely to the late 18th. and early 19th.
centuries and is seen as an example of the picturesque landscape. Having
attended a initial pre-tendering meeting on site Polyolbion Archaeology
was selected to carry out the initial phases of archaeological
investigation. Here is the diary of what followed:
But first an outline location map to keep track of where things
Monday August 14th.
We met with Imogen, the project manager for the Trust at 1.00 pm and
toured the site discussing in detail the siting and scale of each
intervention point ( hereafter IP ), marking them out and in the process
littering the valley with a series of little yellow plastic flags.
Back at Pool 1 we then established a base camp with gazebo, tables, chairs
and what have you to keep the rain away. Once set up it was time to mark
out out the trench for IP2, initially 4 x 2 m although it is not intended
that all this be dug but rather that work on the wall Iines up with
investigating the upper surface of the dam. However, before undertaking
any digging the remainder of the day until 5.00 p.m. was taken up with
carefully removing the undergrowth from the existing exposure of wall,
what we call 'archaeological weeding' it being important to cut roots
rather than pull them less the wall comes tumbling down. Fortunately at an
early stage it became clear that the wall was mortared rather than dry
built with extensive traces of a hard pinkish red gritty mortar surviving.
A study of the mortars is likely to be important when it comes to getting
any sort of idea about building sequences in the valley
As we began digging within the marked out area it became clear
that the topsoil with its flora of brambles, ivy and ground elder would
not lift as turf for stacking so a spoil heap was started 2 m S of the
trench. Part of the brief was to ensure that any spoil did not pollute the
watercourses and so began a campaign of revetting our heaps with
boarding. By the end of the day at 5.00 pm we had cleared
approximately 4 m of wall. Early indications suggest more than one phase
of construction and some purposeful changes in alignment.
Tuesday August 15th.
Sarah contemplating the area marked out for digging and getting
started on some archaeological weeding on what turned out to be the
south wall of a spillway.
After a trip up to the cafe for clean water we started by extending IP 2
by 1 m to the south in order to pick up the width of the wall 001 and the
nature of any associated deposits to the south. Turf stripping 002 at the
west end of the trench enabled us to build a low turf retaining wall
around the spoil heap. After a meeting with Jason to discuss the work two
volunteers were introduced and given a site induction. They completed the
turf stripping whilst Sarah carried on tracing the line of the wall
I completed some clearance of vegetation and fallen branches at IP1 and
examined the make up of the dam and the stone walling that acted as a
seating for a modern concrete pipe. This walling whilst probably recent is
similar to the wall at the north end of the dam to pool 2. There were no
signs of any other early structures. The dam itself seems almost entirely
composed of a weak silty clay which has been readily scoured away.
Conditions at IP 1 are actually quite dangerous and apart from some
photography and sample taking no further interventions were planned.
At IP 2 a partially metalled surface 003 was cleaned and shown to be in
the form of a low bank rapidly dropping away to the east. Further work to
pick up the return of the wall 001 where it met the east wall above the
tunnel lead to the discovery of a complex structure involving a wall that
extended much further to the east than expected and a possible paved area.
In the afternoon the volunteers Ian and Malcolm cleared fallen trees and
undergrowth from part of the east face of the dam and then removed weeds
and moss to uncover the continuation of the wall to the east. Further flat
slabs were mortared in place against its north face suggesting possible
small steps indicative of a cascade however the relationship with the
north-south tunnel wall remains problematic. Additional work to clear
along the face of wall 001 revealed a remarkable survival of an area of
pitched stone paving which has initially been interpreted as the base of a
spill way running down from the pool.
Wednesday August 17th.
First up was the completion of the recording of features at IP 1 as well
photographs four separate contexts were noted. At IP 2 a red gravel bank
010 was removed to a depth of 0.4m to reveal the continuation of the side
wall of the spillway as it approaches the water's edge. No traces of the
pitched stone base were seen but a buff clay bedding for the stones was
noted here and towards the eastern end of the spillway.
The Trust volunteers began by carefully removing roots that had grown over
the pitched stone surface and then removed further roots that were
obscuring the junction between wall 001 and the north-south wall 006. Work
was then completed to clarify the exact line of wall 001 which resulted in
the discovery of possible whetstone fragment in the topsoil. Additional
clearance established that the wall 006 was not contiguous with that
flanking the tunnel IP 3 but rather its courses finished until it faded
into the bank at its southern end.The area representing the upper tier of
the cascade was further examined and its width extended as tumbled rubble
was removed. This lead to the discovery of the base of small glass vessel
again in the topsoil.
A lengthy site meeting / discussion was held with Jonathan, the person
responsible for designing the new scheme for managing water throughout the
valley, about the engineering aspects of the project and later similarly
Thursday August 18th
Expert work to remove in-growing roots from the small surviving
portion of pitched stone paving plus some finds, pity they were in the
After a very wet night and. morning the attempt to dig at ab the mouth of
the partially collapsed tunnel, IP 3 was abandoned as the ground was
running with water.
The upper part of IP 2 was sponged dry and work continued to remove the
red gravel bank 011 that capped the dam and filled the former spill way.
At the close of the day yesterday the beginnings of a yellow clay deposit
was noted about 20 cm below the top of the wall 001. In practice the clay
dropped away rapidly leaving the team with up to 60 cm of gravel to dig. A
similar spread of red gravel was seen to the south of wall 001 and this
was removed onto another yellowish clay bank all of which post dates the
wall, the buried portions of which remain well preserved. It was also
shown that the side wall to the spill way was secondary to the north south
wall. The rear of wall 001 was examined to establish that it was a single
faced revetment wall and by the end of the day the whole complex had been
recorded in plan by photographing sections of wall beneath a measured in
and leveled up planning frame.
Up at the second dam two trenches were marked out ( IPs 5 and 6) and the
turf removed to examine the crest of the dam for evidence of spillways. In
addition some clearance at the foot of the retaining wall at the south end
of the dam was undertaken (IP7), however the increased water flow lead to
second thoughts about the extent to which one could remove silting from a
possible culvert without precipitating the sudden drainage of the pool!
Friday August 19th.
Now we're really getting on with it, four volunteers to dissect the
south wall of the spill way and here are the fruits of their labours:
the wall excavated down to its lowest course.
A measured photographic survey was carried out at IP 2 so that both plans
and elevations could be generated digitally.
At pool 2 work begun yesterday at IPs 5 and 6 to remove the turf and
topsoil was completed. It was concluded that no structural features were
present at the centrally located IP 6 and that the channel that appeared
further to the east was probably a consequence of a leak in the dam. Back
at IP 5 a trench 2.5 x 1 m was opened at the top of the retaining wall to
examine the possibility that a cascade had been located here. No such
traces were found so it was concluded that the water was originally
drained through a conduit that opened at the bottom of the wall which is
also being cautiously investigated
Meanwhile two volunteers had begun work at pool 3 to clear vegetation and
fallen branches so that two new trenches could be opened up on Monday.
Monday August 21st.
Heading up the valley to pool and dam 2 an area is cleared at the top
of the retaining wall but no evidence for channel or cascade.
The plan of the line of the spill way and cascade drawn from digitally
enhanced and perspectively corrected photos.
After relocating ' base camp' from pool 1 to pool 3 work began around 1.00
p.m. Exposed walling near the crest of the dam (IP 9 ) was cleared and
once the extent was obvious a trench 4 x 1 m was marked out. Cutting back
across the top of this wall revealed it to be the southern edge of a
setting of pitched stones. At present it's not possible to say if this is
the top of a tunnel or the base of a spillway!
Down in the lower area where the channel appears to make right angle bend
(IP 8) a series of walls and collapsed brickwork were examined. They make
little sense at present but obviously are the remains of a significant
structure. Work was also started on a small trench ( 1.5 x 1 m ) to the
north of the area to look for traces of a conduit or pipe at this point.
After excavation to depth of around 0.5 m the ground is looking fairly
A site tour of the areas currently open was made with Imogen and Janine,
the area archaeological adviser for the Trust.
Tuesday August 22nd.
And so we arrive at pool and dam 3, the Trust's volunteers have
already cleared the ground of undergrowth and other debris.
Up near the dam work Ian and David begin on what was rather
disrespectfully named the rockery whilst down in 'the pit' the stubs
of two walls are exposed by Sarah.
Work advanced on two fronts. Up on the pitched stone surface ( IP 9)
further excavation by our volunteers defined the limits of the feature and
established that it was unlikely to be the top side of an arched culvert
so we returned to examining the idea that we might be looking at a spill
way. An area 4 x 1.75 m has been strung out but an extension at one end of
the trench to the north will be marked out tomorrow to determine the full
Down in the lower area (IP8) a major effort was put in to clearing the
corner adjacent to the already identified stub of wall. This revealed the
remains of a built structure comprising of stone walls surmounted by
traces of a shallow barrel vaulted brick ceiling. The eastern and southern
sides were intact with a potential entrance to the north. The western side
was in a state of considerable collapse. The interior was dug to a depth
of around 30 cm and an area within the north east corner dug to a further
30 cm. The function of this structure remains uncertain at present.
A short distance to the south a small trench 1 x 1 m was dug to
investigate the possible continuation of a channel or pipe. The area was
dug out to a depth of around 60 cm and appeared to be natural.
In the afternoon some additional recording was carried out down at pool 2
prior to back-filling. In addition the base of the retaining wall at IP 4
was examined and it was shown that there appeared to be a flat topped but
slightly recessed opening from a drain running below the wall.
Great discoveries: the pit turns out to have been vaulted over in
brick and the rockery turns into a pitched stone spillway.
Back at dam 2 more delving reveals a set back course then the
beginnings of the culvert that enabled water to be drained from the
Wednesday August 23rd.
Progress in four areas today although conditions were quite wet and slippy
for much of the time. At IP 8 the north east corner of the sunken building
was identified as an area for further exploration and accumulated deposits
were removed from here to a depth of nearly 1 m. The lower levels became
increasingly dark and loamy suggesting that the floor level was not too
far below. Worked was stopped at 1m for safety reasons at which point
large quantities of brick were noted indicating the collapse of the brick
vault. The function of this structure remains problematic.
The volunteers working 'up stream ' dug an additional metre square to the
north of the original trench. This showed that the pitched stone setting
was without doubt a spill way of some kind but more significantly revealed
a central gully which presumably would have managed a limited flow of
water to give a rill like effect. This feature terminated with a line of
cross stones creating a. small cascade. The exact limits of this spill way
have yet to be determined but a third trench was opened up with aid of
additional volunteer labour which appeared towards the end of the
In order to examine the lip of the dam an area 2 x 1 m was opened up and
an edging wall to the pool uncovered. Behind this was a further
pitched stone channel bounded to the south by a low stone wall. However
this latest channel has the base stones running in a different orientation
and alignment to the spillway just a metre or so to the east!
Finally a small trench was opened at the mid-point on the dam to examine
the possibility of a pipe or conduit emerging here. Large quantities of
broken glass and pottery of mid-twentieth century date were encountered
here but no evidence of any structures yet.
Thursday August 24th.
Now the outlines of our 'sunken building' are becoming clear and Sarah
works heroically to bottom out the side wall in the north east corner.
The extension to the spillway trench uncovers a rather picturesque
little gully along the centre line of the feature.
Everyone is getting really keen now as Jason and David examine the
pool side wall and uncover a second spillway... sort of.
Much of the day was spent recording. A leveled base line was set up
to link together the three main areas under excavation and detailed plans
started using a planning frame. Further context numbers were allocated on
context recording completed for IP 9.
The volunteers widened the trench at the edge of the pool to pick up the
other flanking wall giving the overall width of the channel. They also
helped remove some of the rubble defining the western side of the sunken
building and located its north west corner. This gave us the width of the
opening to the north which we had assumed was the original entry but also
puzzlingly indicated there was a similar opening in the west side of the
Friday August 25th
A massive campaign of recording is underway as Sarah plans part of the
spillway and the upper portion is photographed.
And still the 'sunken building' defies our best efforts to bottom it
After a preliminary visit to take another look at the pump house up stream
work was completed on planning the exposed features and a measured
profile/section was drawn through the three open areas to link them
together. There remains some work to be done on the written descriptions
of individual contexts.
The volunteers began by further digging an area to the east of the centre
of the dam. Further evidence of twentieth century dumping was recovered
but nothing structural was observed. Work shifted to IP8 where another 30
cm of fill was removed from the north west corner of the sunken building
to further expose the 'column' .
Amongst the many visitors we spoke to a retired waterways engineer who
suggested that the differing orientations of pitched stones within the
spillway could be related to one set being closer to the lip of the dam
and therefore subject to different pressures, however this doesn't realign
explain the different alignments.
At the end of the morning additional barrier tape was put in place and
'base camp' was taken down and removed to the estate yard for storage
until work begins again on Monday September 4 th.
The 'sunken building' cleaned up for photos whilst Sarah continues
with the planning.
... and here's the drawing linking the three main sites at dam 3.
Monday September 4th.
Work begins with John, David and Anita on the hunt, there's a
cascade here somewhere.
The top of the cascade with an eroded void showing where a couple
of stones had
up stream side of the culvert with signs of a flanking wall
starting to appear.
Setting up after lunch with gazebo, table and chairs to establish base
camp at pool/dam 7 , marked out three of the four 'intervention points
' and started on working to clear the down stream face of the cascade
IP14. Remarkable effort by our increasingly skillful group of
volunteers who during the course of the afternoon revealed most of the
pitched stone face of the cascade. Interestingly much of the pointing
to this surface has failed allowing the water to erode away the
underlying fabric of the dam, however such was the form of the
construction that the body of the cascade has held together in a way
which makes full restoration a very real possibility.
Mid-afternoon two more volunteers arrived so we opened up an
additional trench to explore the arrangements for the over spill from
the pool into the tunnel above the cascade . Two possible phases of
construction here although still much to do. The turf and topsoil was
also removed from the trench IP13 marked out to examine the
possibility of an additional spill way at the east end of the dam.
During the previous week I had examined the historic mapping for the
valley and noted from the late 18 th. century estate map a feature
labeled as 'conduit ' off to the north west. Although heavily
overgrown there are traces of a built structure visible which may be
worth further examination.
By the end of the day the full extent and level of survival
of the cascade is becoming clearer.
Tuesday September 5th.
After a poor weather forecast for the day it all proved to be
surprisingly productive. After an early start I spent some time
clearing a path to the site of the potential conduit house. Back at
dam 7 I completed marking out the full extent of the four areas
currently under excavation before the volunteers started arriving. On
the main cascade the lower section was cleared to uncover the end of
the steeper section and the start of a paved level section. The
situation here was complicated by the presence of two exceptionally
large stone blocks which may be tumbled capstones from the tunnel
through the crest of the dam.
We approach the point at which the cascade bottoms out
Viviana starts to uncover two huge
cleaned cascade at the end of the second day.
More work was done to clear this tunnel of accumulated debris with the
aid of a long handled rake. The eastern part of the flanking wall to
the cascade was examined in detail with particular attention being
paid to its relationship to wing wall running along the face of the
On the pool side approach to the tunnel the wing walls to the east and
west were cleared as was an additional wall which appeared to cross
the mouth of the channel. This projected out to the north to create an
unusual triangular platform which presumably acted the way a cut water
does on a bridge to diminish the flow of water. It is a very curious
feature and this may not turn out to be the real explanation .
All in a day's work, the excavation of IP14A from start to end,
Finally the small trench across the shallow cut at the east end of the
dam shows no trace of any built structures such as a spill way,
however, the upper portion of the dam at this point seems to contain a
lot of debris, including slag and burnt stone which appears almost
industrial in nature, alternatively it could be material derived from
the partial demolition or clearance of the grotto to the south east.
Before work started I had made another expedition up the narrow valley
to the north west to photograph and examine in more detail some of the
building debris that may mark the site of an 18th. century conduit
Wednesday September 6th.
The small valley divides at this point to the right and left with
serious quantities of stone rubble, brick and tile and their
A 2 x 1m trench was opened at IP12, the possible bypass channel at the
western end of dam 7. This uncovered the profile of a 'V' shaped ditch
but there was no evidence of any associated structures. The trench was
recorded photographically and is ready for back filling as is the
trench at IP13 which has been similarly recorded.
Two side shows: the ditch IP12 to the west of the dam and the
ditch IP13 to the east, neither of them terribly exciting.
The curious triangular feature in front of the inlet to cascade was
excavated down to a construction level above a platform of hard yellow
clay and recording started. On the cascade more work was done to
clarify the line of the flanking walls and the rockery like
spread of stones on the face of the dam to the east. One of the
difficulties in being so busy is the lack of time to take in the
bigger picture. At lunch time I took a look in the grotto that lies a
short distance to the south east and noted that the small 'window '
opening in the south chamber of the grotto frames the view of the
Ian engages some potential volunteers in
spread of mortar at the foot of the stonework indicates a period
The cascade perfectly framed when viewed from the grotto,
looking north west.
IP15 after some archaeological weeding and a little digging
view of the crest of the dam with our three current trenches
The final area on dam 7 was opened up, IP15, and initial results show
that the arch above the culvert is parabolic in form. Other possible
walls in the vicinity were examined and shown to be random spreads of
Thursday September 7th.
Two halves reunited, the fallen capstone.
At the start of the day I spent some time examining the huge stones
that Viviana had uncovered on Tuesday and it became clear that they
were two halves of one much larger piece presumably broken as it
tumbled down from the top of the cascade. Otherwise much of the day
was spent recording in plan and elevation details of the rest of the
cascade. A new volunteer, Dan, who has just graduated in
Archaeology was able to assist with this. It is becoming clear that
the structure has a complex history. Meanwhile the rest of the team
were busy at IP15 examining the outlet from the culvert at the west
end of the dam. This is turning into a major feature and is
undoubtably one of the best built structures in the valley and clearly
set up to be seen. Work was focused on determining the full height of
the opening and the nature of its flaking walls. This is our best
opportunity to understand the nature of these conduits in a stratified
context. The level at the top of the underside of the arch was
measured and compared with the level of the base of the dry pool to
the north. This indicated that the entrance to the culvert could still
be half a metre or so below the current ground surface.
Dan puts his back and sanity at risk by drawing loads of
small rubble fragments whilst John and David have a great time
delving down after the base and sides of the conduit through a
thick build up of silt and clay.
Friday September 8th.
The fruit of their labours, IP 15 still going down.
A very wet Friday morning with everything dripping and
slippy, fortunately by around 10.00 it had brightened up
After a damp start the decision was taken that digging today on IP15
would be a little unsafe: a deep hole in slippery conditions and so
the volunteers moved back down the valley to Dam 6 to examine
the full extent of a pitched stone surface which was just visible at
the foot of the dam (IP11). With Imogen's approval Ian and Anita
carried on into the afternoon and were rewarded by the sight of what
is evidently the remains of another cascade taking the plunge into a
near vertical face, yet another new take on displaying the flow of
water in an interesting way.
Dan, Ian and Anita start to get to grips with the area below
dam 6 and soon have a new pitched some channel with flanking walls
... and by later on that afternoon things are taking a very
strange turn (Thanks to Ian for this photo )
Back on dam 7 time was split between planning and context recording.
In connection with the latter some targeted small scale dismantling of
limited sections of the walling was undertaken to establish a
constructional sequence. After further deliberation the current
thinking about the triangular projection is that it may be a seating
for a metal grid to hold back fallen branches o and the like to
prevent the culvert getting clogged up and the cascade becoming
untidy. It bears some resemblance to the feature recorded at the south
end of the dam at Packwood in 2015.
Detail of the complex sequence of events relating to the
repair and new build on the north end of the conduit.
Here is the field drawing of the north end of the culvert...
Monday September 11th
After the usual lunchtime start we were able to make good progress
with David and Bob working of uncovering the base of the arched
culvert at IP15 whilst Ian and Anita returned to their task at the
foot of dam 6, IP 11, I was able to continue with the tricky task of
planning the cascade at IP 15, difficult of course because of the
The area IP 11 revealed at the end of the day on Friday that the
pitched stone surface of the presumed cascade took a sudden turn
downwards from which point it dropped steeply for around half a metre.
Unfortunately further clearance of this lower level was prevented by
the presence of a tree stump which Ian made valiant efforts to dig
out. Up on the main body of the cascade Anita chased the pitched stone
surface up the face of the dam. The gradient continued to rise gently
suggesting that there is a further steep if not vertical component to
come, unless of course there was an outflow from a culvert that
supplied the water.
Ian sets to with a will whilst Anita contemplates the
I had an interesting conversation with the engineer who runs and
maintains the pump just up the valley. He claimed to have been working
this pump for 30 years now and reports on the progressively
diminishing supply of water to the valley, some years ago they were
regularly able to run the pump for 12 hours, this has not been
possible for some time. Given that the valley is based on limestone is
it possible that a previous copious flow could have vanished
underground at some point, perhaps as the outcome of an earth tremor
on the Ludlow fault?
The arched culvert at IP 15 was finally bottomed at a depth of around
150 cm and the jambs shown to be constructed of well dressed stone
throughout. The base of the culvert appears to be timber lined which
is particularly interesting as is the dense spread of brick which
appears to have been dumped in to narrow the exit channel without
actually closing it.
Bob - I think - spading out the silt to uncover,
Tuesday September 12th.
Most of my time today was devoted to excavation the final half metre
or so underneath the archway at IP 15 . This proved very rewarding as
the work revealed a brick bottom to the culvert edged with a well
preserved timber sill beam. There is an additional piece of timber
lying across this which looks a little like a stave from a wooden
bucket, however it was decided to record these features in situ and
not attempt to lift them. All this lies at nearly a metre and a half
below current ground level and this together with a far superior mode
of construction suggests a different, earlier phase of activity within
this part of the park. I don't find the suggestion that it is some
sort of a housing for a hydraulic ram very plausible, my feeling is
that it is the outlet to a scour tunnel but one designed to make
positive visual impact on the landscape. Further investigations are
made difficult by the depth we are working at and the proximity of the
stream. We will concentrate on cleaning up what can be seen of the
small weir to the west but not undertake any more digging here at this
The slightly dizzying view down into the hole at IP15 showing the
brick and timber base.
Another three square metres of the cascade at IP14 were drawn, just
two more to complete in the morning.
Down at dam 6 three of our volunteers: Ian, Malcolm and Dan continued
to clear the pitched stone spill way and follow the steeply sloping
section to the south. This necessitated some serious effort to remove
the stump of a felled tree before the face could be accessed. It is
possible that bottom has been reached. Significantly the lower courses
seem to composed of much larger well squared and dressed blocks, do
these represent a later repair or are they part of the original
construction designed perhaps to resist turbulence at the foot of the
cascade. Hopefully we will finish this area off tomorrow.
A bar to progress, the unfortunately placed tree stump.
Then, as if by magic, it's gone, how do they do
that? More of the face of the cascade is uncovered
showing the use of larger dressed stone blocks.
Wednesday September 13th.
Work began on the last IP to be opened IP 10 below dam 5. Again there
seemed be the appearance of a channel emerging from the foot of the
dam but when this was half sectioned there was no evidence of any
structures. This situation echoes the difficulties we had on dam 2 and
3 and it may be reflecting on the situation further up the valley in
that we are simply missing features because they are so deeply buried.
In the afternoon the team were reassigned to continue work on the
curiously formed cascade below dam 6. Up on dam 7 the drawing of the
cascade at IP 14 was finished as was the elevation of the arched
opening at IP 15, thanks to Janine for helping with the levels and
preparing the main cascade for photography.
The trench dug at the foot of dam 5.
The impedimenta of drawing on IP15
Thursday September 14th.
The newly cleaned cascade at dam 7, photographed from this angle
the tumbled and broken capstone tends to dominate the view.
The last full day for digging so an early start back where it
all started at dam 1 with IP1. The intention had always been to return
to examine the base of the tunnel after a spell of dry weather which
never materialized. An area close to north side of the opening was dug
through a variety of silts to a depth of around 40 cm at which point
stone slabs were encountered. Unfortunately the water was flowing in
faster than it could be bailed out so without further measures to
drain it IP1 will not be progressed any further.
The end result of half an hour shoveling mud, a hole full of dirty
water at IP1 and whilst I was down that way I tool a look at the
housing for the hydraulic ram there.
Up at dam 3 an hour or so was spent with the day's three volunteers
searching for traces of a spill way, conduit or cascade as per
Jonathan's request . A number of small test pits were dug following
extensive probing using road pins but nothing but modern debris was
Dam 4 saw the same team later in the morning clearing the undergrowth
from the weirs at the east end of the dam in order to annotate the
drawings from the 2007 survey. Some significant variations were noted.
Clearance and photography was also undertaken on the curious spillway
at the east end of dam 5. Moving on to the channel below dam 5 the
bottom of the trench was lowered by another half a metre without any
structural elements being identified.
IP 10 on dam 4 a combination of stone and concrete block walling
but no trace visible of an earlier sluice of spillway underneath
the concrete sandbags.
However the adjacent tunnel was interesting, particularly the way
in which erosion had dropped the interior by nearly a metre
severely weakening the walling above.
Friday September 15th.
In order the determine the thickness of the sill beam it
was necessary to remove the loose piece of timber (now known
as FPV17 IP15 010/1) which appears to have interesting
markings on it, and a further 30cm down, more brick.
The excavation of the site of a possible weir to the west
of our arched opening.
A busy final morning initially completing the planning at the arched
opening at IP 15 and filling in the context sheets. There are traces
of a plaster like substance on the left hand side of the archway which
leads, together with the high quality stonework, one to wonder if this
structure could have been more of a niche perhaps with water issuing
from a sculptural feature. I also took the opportunity to take some
further photographs of the area around pond 7 and reflect both on the
in-coming water supplies and the possibility of an earlier medieval
pool 'fossilized in the base of the later structure.
A sloping bed of mortar with some surviving slabs above the brick
faced mini-cascade. This part of the structure has tipped
backwards, possible following the removal of a supporting wall.
After cleaning back a little more of the soffit of the arch what
do we see, plasterwork or just lime scale?
The 'natural' cascade entering pond 7 from the north west.
A view of the site of pond 7 looking south the lower terrace below
the gazebo shows up as belonging to a possibly earlier pool and
the two tier nature of the dam is also evident.
Down at dam 6 the trench, IP 16, was tidied up by the volunteers who
were able to clarify the layout of the pitched stone surface and its
flanking walls as well as revealing further details of the steeply
sloping face of the cascade. The morning finished with the recording
and photographing of the site.
The cascade at IP16, dam 6 looking north east, do the very fine
stone blocks, plus the great depth of silting tie this is with the
well cut stone work at IP15?
At the end of it all it is satisfying to record that all 16
intervention points were examined in the course of 16 working days on
site, an achievement only possible because of the valuable
contributions of the local volunteers. Needless to say there are
numerous loose ends to tie up, we'll see what the future holds....
The final photograph before breaking camp, the gazebo in the woods
plus an unmatched selection of ranging rods.