12 Jul 2022

Summer Dig - Day 3

trench 1
Removing the pebble-rich landscaping deposit (background) to reveal the rubble-rich layer (foreground)

It was another decent day's digging in Forty Hall today, despite the continued heatwave, and although the excavation of our two trenches is going well, there is as yet not much to report in terms of gatehouse evidence.

Picking up from yesterday, we continued to remove the extensive pebble landscaping deposit that probably represents the final phase of landscaping immediately after the palace's demolition in the second half of the 17th century.

Much as we expected, this came off in both trenches to reveal a layer composed mostly of brick fragments, but also mixed with brickearth.

There is as yet no evidence of a feature crossing trench 1 as indicated by magetometry, and similarly no signs in trench 2 of any structural archaeology, although it is still early days and these features (or others!) could be revealed when the rubble-rich deposit is removed, hopefully tomorrow.

wine glass knop

Fortunately there has been the usual steady trickle of small finds to keep our diggers happy, including pottery fragments, window glass and some scraps of the lead 'cames' into which the window glass was set.

Today's star find was glass of a different kind, however, in the form of a wine glass 'knop' - a decorative thickening of the glass stem just beneath the bowl, most likely dating to the mid-17th century, towards the end of the palace's life when it was occupied by the Earl of Pembroke.

We have found several wine glass stems at Elsyng over the years (some of which are illustrated in our new book), but this one is much more bulbous than any we've typically found before. Hopefully it should be a distincive enough form to be closely dateable.


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