June and July 1999
This is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (i.e. protected by law). It is a medieval moated site with associated fishponds dating from the 13th / 14th century.
Geophysics surveys indicated interesting areas for excavation and evaluation trenches last year revealed the foundations of substantial stone buildings. This year we have extended the trenches to gain a better understanding of the nature of these structures. (Simple sketch of the site)
Trench 1: A circular structure with very thick walls, about 1 metre thick, and a diameter of about 7 metres. This is probably a dovecote, which we hope to confirm by uncovering the whole circumference and sampling the floor.
Trench 2: Last year this revealed a possible oven, consisting of 2 low parallel stone walls, connected to the corner of another building. we are now attempting to uncover the rest of that building.
Is this a manor house or a hunting lodge?
Environmental sampling by Hereford & Worcester Archaeological Service suggests this was a wooded area during the medieval period, and a deer park is known to have existed in the area from documentary sources.
This excavation on behalf of the Berryhill Fields Millennium Project managed by Groundwork commenced on 21st June 1999 and ran for 5 weeks. During that time we updated the following pages with new photographs and progress reports every couple of days.
Updates: Click to see photos
22/06/99 – The dig commences
25/06/99 – Evidence of stone structures
28/06/99 – More detail emerges
01/07/99 – 7 pictures including medieval pottery!
06/07/99 – Clearer indications as to what the structures are?
09/07/99 – School visits and interesting finds
19/07/99 – More evidence of the original construction methods
23/07/99 – Views from above.
See much more from the Year 2000 dig
These pages originally appeared on the Berryhill Fields Millennium Website (berryhillfields.org), produced by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and funded by the Millennium Commission