Friday, 26 August 2011

Welcome to Blackden

Ten archaeological students are camping in the garden looking for traces of outbuildings that appear on maps from 1789 and disappear by the end of the 19th century.

The 1789 survey, the Tithe Map and first edition of the Ordnance Survey show a building that lay across the south-western boundary of the site as it exists today. However, the maps disagree as to its exact position, while the line of the boundary has itself been adjusted, and none gives enough detail to suggest its function.

In August 2009 the Trust undertook a small exploratory excavation to locate the building, using methods and with results about which you can read in our reports page. In 2010 the area of study was extended, revealing a line of structures and features.

Work since Monday (22nd August) has exposed a substantial part of a barn-like structure that corresponds with the outbuilding on the 1789 map. Inside are traces of industrial activity and recycling of glass. Fragments of building materials point to a timber-framed building with a stone flagged roof, in places with a tight-jointed stone flagged floor.

Nearby excavation has exposed a hollow way that went out of use when it was cut by the coming of the railway in 1841; the hollow way formed part of an older field system that appears on air photographs.

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