Day 4 Sylvia’s Lion

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.

The trench under the position of the conservatory dome. In the foreground is the ring wall that carried the columns supporting the dome. The turfed central area preserves the beds beneath the dome. The outer ring retained the conservatory clinker plant bed lining used as drainage beneath the soil where the exotic plants were grown.

The trench under the position of the conservatory dome. In the foreground is the ring wall that carried the columns supporting the dome. The turfed central area preserves the beds beneath the dome. The outer ring retained the conservatory clinker used as drainage beneath the soil where the exotic plants were grown.

Large red painted fragments of decorative iron foliage were found here.

The large red painted iron leaves found in the demolition rubble beside the central garden bed.

The large red painted iron leaves found in the demolition rubble beside the central garden bed.

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.

The lion being uncovered

The lion being uncovered

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.

The red painted lion. One of at least 18 that decorated the conservatory wall tops. Each held a flag. The metal support for the flag can be seen beside he lion's paw.

The red painted lion. One of at least 18 that decorated the conservatory wall tops. Each held a flag. The metal support for the flag can be seen beside he lion’s paw.

Last day tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Day 4 Sylvia’s Lion

  1. This has been another interesting excavation! so happy Sylvia found a lion too. Agree with you it is such a shame they destroyed the tile floor.

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