15th August 2000
Progress report : Words and Pictures by Noel Boothroyd
Even in the last week more details of the building are emerging. In the end wall of the long room we can see large white boulders placed on the corner and in the centre of the wall (the one on the far corner has been robbed out but the impression in the ground is quite distinctive). Are these padstones for timber uprights or crucks, or are they purely decorative features? Sandstone blocks are laid round the boulders in semi-circles to add to the decorative effect.
The opposite back wall also has a central, damaged, boulder. One corner, though, was disturbed by the 19th century land drain and the other corner is bonded into the wall of the large hall continuing into the trench extension so it is not possible to say if the back wall mirrors exactly the front wall.
We’ve now recognised a backdoor directly opposite the main doorway with the ornate moulded doorjamb, indicating a cross passage between the main hall and the long room. The back doorway can be seen here marked by the two stones with edges at an acute angle to the edge of the wall.
A view giving an impression of the size of the long room, as we clean it up for final photographic recording. The small square room is to the left and the hall continues to the right in the trench extensions.
Though we have defined the size and shape of three main rooms, a hall with cross passage indicated by the doorways, a cross wing with the long room and small square room attached, we can see more to be discovered in the trench edges. Here the back wall of the hall continues into the trench section after returning to form the side wall of the hall. How big is the building as a whole? We are planning another season of excavation to try to answer this question.
Although this is the final report directly from the site we will be publishing a summary and some plans of the excavation results on-line. So check here again soon!