Thursday, 4 October 2018

Day 5 - Excavations at Muncaster Castle

 Trench 1 showing rubble on both sides of the culvert, with the path at the far end
Trench 2 having been backfilled already, we devoted all out attention to Trench 1. Removal of the base of the path at the east end of the trench revealed more rubble, presumably the same fill as that at the west end of the trench and in Trench 2. Whatever the rubble filled was a very large cut. Although we didn't find anything Roman during the excavation, there is clearly still lots of archaeology to investigate at Muncaster Castle.

The final day backfilling team: Len, Bryan, Rowan and Alan
All that remained to do was to backfill Trench 2, then off to the cafe for some cake!

Thanks to the 2018 excavation team: Bryan Antoni, Alan Bell, Cath Duncan, Anita Garnett, Bridget Gerry, Brian Kennish, Rowan May, Leo Saldanha, Doug Scales and Len Watson. Thanks also to Peter Frost-Pennington for his support and for letting us use the Castle's cafe; and to Sharon Arrowsmith, Muncaster Castle curator, for supplying information about the site. Roll on 2019!

Day 4 - Excavations at Muncaster Castle

 Anita, Bryan, Len and Bridget working in Trench 1
The main discovery in Trench 1 was that the culvert had been inserted into the rubble fill. It is likely that the rubble filled a large ditch heading towards the castle, and the culvert had be constructed to improve drainage.

Leo and Rowan working in Trench 2

All that remained to be done in Trench 2 was to record and backfill it. However, Leo managed to recover a fine collection of 18th century pottery from the rubble layer!

The next blog will sum up the four days of digging!

Day 3 - Excavations at Muncaster Castle

The culvert set into a thick rubble layer
We made good progress today, despite having to finish early due to the rain - at least the cafe was handy! Trench 1 was extended to the east to confirm that there was a gravel path heading towards the castle; presumably this was part of an earlier garden design.  At the other end of the trench, the rubble deposit west of the culvert proved to be very thick.

The rubble-filled cut in Trench 2
In Trench 2, the rubble layer was found to fill a large cut. The west edge of the cut was found, but not the east. It seems that the rubble layers in Trenches 1 and 2 fill the same, very large cut.