30th June 2000
Progress report : Words and Pictures by Noel Boothroyd
This stone had an iron spike set in lead in the upper surface to secure it to the stone above (the lead was designed to protect the iron from rust and to protect the stone from any expansion in the iron). This contrasted with the rest of the walls which are made of roughly shaped facing stones with rubble in-fill. If there had ever been any mortar it is now completely decayed.
The wall contained the oldest object on site by several million years, a fossil plant embedded in the building stone. Identified as Calamites sp. an example of a 300 million year old Carboniferous Coal Measure fossilised plant stem, a relative of the ‘horsetail’ plants of today.