Day 3 The Iron Flowers

We mostly missed the rain today which is always good news. The middle trench was completely cleaned for photographs and drawing and we saw that the brick wall had a lime ash render and that it and the basement floor had been painted with a bluey grey coating. Perhaps a bitumen treatment to counter rising damp.

Drawing the middle trench after excavation. Note the bluey grey colour painted onto the floor and the rendered brick wall behind he drawing board.

Drawing the middle trench after excavation. Note the bluey grey colour painted onto the floor and the rendered brick wall behind he drawing board.


Today we found large slabs of the old floor with the impressions of the polychrome tile shapes impressed into them. We found lots of shaped tiles which we could place on the impressions and start to reconstruct a small part of the floor (not enough time for that but possibly a good activity. A Victorian equivalent to the mosaic making we simulate at Roman sites).
Slabs of broken cement flooring with the impressions of the lost tile floor. The many coloured tile pieces fit into the impressions.

Slabs of broken cement flooring with the impressions of the lost tile floor. The many coloured tile pieces fit into the impressions.

Then we started finding the iron foliage and flowers. Paul (as usual) found the first pieces in the north trench and then Chris found an iron rose in the south trench. These were remains of the intricate decorations that once embellished the great iron frame Tyntesfield’s glass conservatory.

The iron flower (what type? The one in the south trench was a rose) and groups of leaves presumably fixed on finials or wrapped around slender columns. In tray thin bronze strip perhaps for holding the    conservatory glass in place.

The iron flower (what type? The one in the south trench was a rose) and groups of leaves presumably fixed on finials or wrapped around slender columns. In tray thin bronze strip perhaps for holding the conservatory glass in place.

The heap of debris is a giant jigsaw with most of the bits missing.

The depth of debris beneath the gravel on the Tyntesfield Conservatory site. It's full of interesting bits. The smaller fragments of tile and glass seemed to have settled on the bottom and then the main heap of debris spread over the top of it.

The depth of debris beneath the gravel on the Tyntesfield Conservatory site. It’s full of interesting bits. The smaller fragments of tile and glass seemed to have settled on the bottom and then the main heap of debris spread over the top of it.

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