Dig Report 30th June 2000

Excavations at Lawn Farm Medieval Moated Site

30th June 2000

Progress report : Words and Pictures by Noel Boothroyd

To prove the ‘land drain’ really was that a 1m section was excavated and sure enough a ceramic drain pipe was found at the bottom of the cut.

The pipe was an inverted U-shape sitting on the clay base of the cut, typical of the 1830s.

More medieval walls were revealed, at right angles to the first wall discovered, running parallel to each other about 5m apart.

One of these walls in the south-east corner of the trench contained a substantial moulded stone, probably a door jamb.

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.

Unfortunately, overnight vandals smashed this moulded stone and for some strange reason stole the iron and lead connector.

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.