Monday, 5 March 2018

Building (Stal) bridges

The committee had a meeting with the Stalbridge History Society to co-ordinate the project at the 17th c. manor house in Stalbridge Park, demolished in the 1820s. We are going to begin geophysics surveys very soon to locate the exact position of the foundations and then dig some test pits to see what survives. It is possible that an older house may have left its mark on the same site.

On a cold and windy day, but with bright sunshine, we visited the site with its wide views. Good access and parking will make life easier.

SHS are a group of local people looking to find and record as much of their village history as possible and we have been asked to help them with the archaeology aspect.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Dating, but not blind

Wessex Archaeology's Loraine Mepham kindly dated our finds from Trench 1, Yenston yesterday and they show plenty of activity in the area during the medieval period.

This material was from the spoilheap and consists of 11th century Blackdown Hills ware, 13th-15th century West Dorset and Verwood wares and Late Medieval sandy coarse wares, plus a piece of BBW. 
This small fragment of Roman mortarius is of a type from Oxfordshire and also turned up in the spoil along with the 18th century finger decorated pot below. 

This material came from a linear feature [015] fill (016) and is medieval coarse wares of the 12th-13th centuries and made locally.   

In the topsoil 11th-12th-13th century coarse wares were found along with post-medieval material. 

These bones could be pigeon or dove. Medieval priories commonly kept doves.

So all in all, the material in and around this field indicates medieval activity that could be due to the priory being nearby, so we shall continue to look for the buildings.  

Saturday, 3 February 2018

AGM 2018

At the AGM Chris gave a revue of the work carried out in 2017. Our current account is healthy so we will have the pottery from Yenston looked at and dated by the expert at Wessex Archaeology. We have a couple of new committee members! Projects for 2018 are: carry on looking for The Priory at Yenston; geophiz the mansion house site for Stalbridge History Soc. and look to begin excavating in the Spring; have a place at Wimborne History Festival with 'Doug' etc.; begin to look at projects on the Symondsbury Estate, Bridport; do research at the Dorset History Centre; share events and outings in partnership with other archaeology and history groups. Lots to do in 2018.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

New member - Doug

This is our new member, Doug. He will be helping us to educate older children and young adults in the complexities and reasons for excavating grave sites as well as the differing rituals that have taken place at different periods of our island story.  

Friday, 10 November 2017

Symondsbury Project

Went with Alison and Vaughan to see Sir Philip Colfox at the Symondsbury estate this morning. We had a hair-raising ride in his Landrover around the estate looking at possible places where we can do fieldwalking, watching briefs (non-commercial works on the estate) and geophysics with the possibility of excavation if we find anything of interest. One of the fields has a 'lost' mediaeval village located on it. Sir Philip is sending us an estate map and we can look into possible location for various fields to work on. If we can do some long-term work on the estate we would be able to tie-in projects with the local people, schools and visitors, as we have done elsewhere, but on a larger scale. This is an opportunity to get involved in: fieldwalking, research (history of the estate), geophiz, watching briefs and excavation. This will be BIG! We will have more information soon after the committee meeting occurs. Keep looking in.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Eton visit

Chris, Colin, Caroline and Hugh went to Eton College to find documentation on Yenston priory, known as Endston in the 15th century. No location was found in the documents, but lots of legal references that established a good timeline. So, it's back to the archaeology.  

Anyone understand Latin?

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Eton Mess?

DDCAG members and local Yenston researchers are visiting Eton College on the 21st to look for clues as to the location of the priory in their archive, as they bought the land after the Reformation. If we can find evidence of the rough location we can use our geophiz survey better and save a lot of time and money when we open our next trench. Report to follow, so keep looking in.

[update: we are now looking to go later after the Waterloo works have been completed]