17 Jul 2015
Festival Of Archaeology 2015 - Forty Hall - Day 4
Better late than never, we finally revealed the wall of the Tudor building we've been chasing all week today. In the end, we've had to move right back until we almost joined up with last year's trench -- we've expanded the test pit nearest the avenue into a proper trench and sure enough, here we find the continuation of the Tudor building.
The wall only runs intact for a few metres, after which it is difficult to tell whether it has been robbed out or if it turns a corner at some point (or both). The mess of demolition material -- brick and tile fragments and a thick spread of mortar debris make it slow progress to pick apart, leaving in-situ elements in place -- we are also looking out for signs of a floor surface inside the building. It could be that the isolated block of brickwork we found yesterday was actually part of the wall, and was cut through when the building was demolished, probably around the year 1650.
Sorting this out is crucial to our understanding of the route of the wall and therefore the nature of the building, and so this will be our focus at the weekend -- it will probably require opening one last trench tomorrow and so there will be a lot of work yet to do.
The structural archaeology emerged just in time today, as we were visited by pupils from local primary schools -- it was nice to have part of a substantial palace building to show them, as well as members from the Colchester Archaeological Group, who also visited us in the afternoon.
Our main public event is on Sunday, when we will be giving more site tours to the public, and there will be various stalls on display and people on-hand to explain our work.
Hopefully by then we will have a more complete picture of this building -- as ever, stay tuned!