The weekend Festival and Open Day was a great success with plenty of volunteers and a good number of visitors over the two-day event. Friday volunteer numbers were down (probably as it's a weekday) but, on Saturday, we were oversubscribed.
Throughout the two days though we had a constant stream of visitors, mainly from the local residence who were keen to see the Roman road we had discovered on their door step (ably directed by Trevor on the gate).
As mentioned in last month's newsletter, we were looking at two areas where we had previously carried out GPR surveys. However,for the Festival we decided to concentrate on Site 1 where we had discovered the Roman road in 2004. Test pits had been put in a few weeks earlier, initially targeting a linear anomaly which had a 90º bend in it. This turned out, as suspect, to be a field drain but what was the purpose of the bend. This was a task for our volunteers to investigate. Further test pits were put in to find the road edges to determine its width and also show up roadside ditches if they existed. These test pits produced good areas of the cobbled surface showing the road to be about 10 metres, similar to the road found recently at Leyland (see last month's newsletter).
The next task was to put sections through the edges to see if we could understand the roads construction. To do this we needed to widen our trenches. By the end of the 2 days our volunteers had uncovered more of the road surface and the field drain was exposed. This turned out to be constructed of inverted 'U' shaped pots lying on a bed of flat stones (guessed age range between late 19th to early 20th century) but still no idea why the 90° turn. In test pit 4 we managed to excavate a deep cut through the western edge of the road but this failed to produce an underlying structure or the telltale roadside ditch. Despite these small setbacks, however, all the volunteers expressing how much they enjoyed the weekend. You can see more details of our activities here
We had a great day out here last month. It was the open day for the archaeological excavations being run by Liverpool University as training site for undergraduates. Ashley is currently working there and was busy taking visitors round, explaining what was going on in the trenches. After lunch in the cafe we made our way into the new museum. Only built couple of years ago, it is quite impressive as it encompasses the remains undercroft. Another delight for the visitors to Norton is the walled garden situated about 300m away on the other side of the car park. You can see more details here.
As you hopefully already know, our Ribchester trip has been rearranged for this Sunday (8th July). We will meet on the Mona Street at 10.00am with the aim of reaching Ribchester by 11.00am. There we will be given a guided tour of the excavations, after which we can visit the museum and watch a re-enactment of Roman infantry and Cavalry on the adjacent playing field (£6 Entrance for both). We will then make our way to Whalley Abbey for lunch (bring your own if you prefer). Our final site will be the Beasdale Circle, a henge monument on the Bleasdale fell.
Wednesday 4th July. - in the Standish Suite at the Brocket Arms (7.30pm as usual). This month we have our own Ashley Brogan who will be giving us a workshop on Flint Knapping. After a presentation on how it is done and how to recognise a worked flint, Ashley will be giving us a practical demonstration on the car park (if the weather stays okay that is).Hope to see you there, BA.