Day 8 – Back to the Mud
What a difference a weekend makes!
The lovely weather of last week had been blown away into a soggy, windy Tuesday morning. Still Museum of Liverpool Archeologists and our Volunteers are made of sterner stuff so without so much as a whimper they dived into the trenches.
We again had some school visits; 60 year 3 pupils from Our Lady Bishop Eton and then 32 pupils from Smithdown Primary. We also had a small group from Alt Bridge School who didn’t know about the dig but were in the park anyway and were fascinated by what we had uncovered.
The big news today was the opening of Trench 4, the Ha Ha trench.
A ‘Ha-Ha’ is a ditch with one sloped side and one sheer side made up of a sunken wall. The idea was to create a barrier between the park where you may have deer or cattle and the lawns where you would relax, promenade and picnic.
The advantage of a ha-ha is that it creates a barrier without disrupting the view. Most ha-has are 18th Century so Calderstones is a late example and may show how Ha-Ha building techniques developed.
Within a few inches we came down onto the hard-compacted sub-soil, possibly the natural with the tracks left by dead tree-roots throroughout.
This was surprising as we were expecting a V shaped cut for the Ha-Ha with one side filled in, instead we seem to have a very sharp cut that is only about 20cm from the wall.
Because of the nature of this cut we may have to remove some of the natural to see how it develops.
In Trench 1 recording and measuring was continuing, we’re pretty sure we’ve hit natural here so it’s now a case of just recording all the features we’ve found.
Trench 2 (behind the house) however is still getting deeper and still bringing up loads of finds. Most of them are 20th or 19th Century but we did find a significant pointy metal object.
Although it does look a bit sword-like its probably a blade for a plow that snapped off or even part of some gardening equipment.
Our finds are starting to stack up now so on Wednesday we’ll probably take some time out to wash and record them.
We’ll keep you updated.
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