A bit moist first thing, so we went down the steps in the outbuilding beside the conservatory to see the boiler. Well the site of it, there is just the vaulted space with a cut off lead pipe where the cold water came in and the holes in the wall where the heat entered the conservatory basement. Above us was the coal hole where the fuel was poured into the cellar.
We laid out two new trenches. One at the east end against the house where the ground rises, in, as it turned out, the vain hope that a section of tiled floor survived there. The second trench was located by Terry and Michael using the Norton plan to find the position of one of the iron columns that supported the central dome of the conservatory. The trench also hoped to pick up one of the triangular flower beds that surrounded the central bed. The central bed survives and has a palm tree growing in it. It marks the position of the dome.
Large red painted fragments of decorative iron foliage were found here.
Then there was some excitement in the south west corner trench and we quickly gathered around its edges clicking our cameras as Sylvia began to uncover a terracotta lion. We were excited when we found a paw on the second day and since then we have found bits. I had just commented to Anna the General Manager that it would be good to find a whole one and on cue, here it was.
There were at least 18 lions decorating the tops of the conservatory walls but they are large and brittle and we only expected to find fragments. This was a great find and its face has great personality. We left it for visitors to see until the end of the day when we carefully lifted it into a container and took it inside.
Last day tomorrow.