13 Jul 2012
Festival of British Archaeology, Cedars Park, Day 0
This year's big dig at Cedars Park got underway today, as we marked out and de-turfed the trench ready for tomorrow and the start of the Festival of British Archaeology.
This year we are hoping to find out more about the substantial vaulted brick drain that we discovered last year and did not have time to date accurately. We suspect the drain was built in the seventeenth century as part of Theobald's Palace but exactly what building(s) it served and where it runs to is at the moment a mystery.
Our trench is located at the point where (we hope) the drain must cross the footings of a large demolished palace perimeter wall, which we discovered in 2009 and 2010. Because we have a good idea of when the wall was built (in the early sixteenth century), the way the drain crosses through or under the wall will tell us more about the date of the drain & and maybe give us a clue about what the drain was for.
Encouragingly, de-turfing today has already revealed signs of the demolished wall, but there are also a lot of tree roots to contend with, which may make work difficult!
The Society will be digging in Cedars Park all day on Saturday and Sunday & members of the public can come and see how we're getting on at any time, but on Sunday there will be more information and finds on display, including the latest news on developments in the Orangery, which is currently being excavated by the Museum of London.
For more information on the festival, and events taking place nationwide this week see http://festival.britarch.ac.uk
For more on the history of Theobalds Palace, see http://www.cedarspark.info