We had a great sunny Saturday, excavating to the rear of Wycoller Hall as part of the Wonders and Mysteries of Wycoller day. In the adjacent Aisled Barn there was an exhibition of our last dig at Wycoller, the site of the Georgian Hot House plus a collection of prehistoric finds by a member of the Friends of Wycoller. So archaeology was well represented. The weather was almost perfect, just a touch windy for the paper work for the super critical!
In many ways, this one-day dig was to establish the potential of the site, which comprises the remains of a mysterious circa seventeenth century building. We excavated two trenches and, broadly speaking, we got back to between c1750 and c1850.
In Trench 1, imediately outside the building, (photos below) we uncovered a C19 surface of heavy stone flags and then a circa C18 cobbled surface below this.
In Trench 2, just inside the building, (photos below) we uncovered a lighter flagged surface beneath which we found stones and rubble, presumably deposited at the time of the demolition of the building. The original floor surface probably lies beneath this but was not reached on the day.
There was plenty of C18-C19 pottery in this trench though Len found the only clay pipe in Trench 1. Both trenches have more to offer. For such a short dig we now have quite a lot of post-excavation work to do. There was a real holiday atmosphere with a lots of visitors, especially on the afternoon.
Alex spoke to about 40 people and David M about half that number. Overall, we suspect that members must have spoken to in excess of 100 people. Quite a few leaflets on Pendle Heritage Centre and the Friends were also handed out.
The weather was near perfect. We had non-stop entertainment of music, dancers and even a fire eater, and along the way hopefully some people picked up a few archaeological skills. Special thanks should go to Friends of Wycoller and the Conservation Group for getting the site ready for the excavation.