Well well …..

While doing a bit of weeding  of my photographs and scans on my computer (64GB worth!) I came across a couple of wells, both very different in age and form. The first was found when excavating part of the roman settlement on the Kingston Lacy estate. We were investigating the age of the roman road that runs through the site, and the well lay under part of it. This was great for us as anything found in the well  would help date the road. The road could not be older than anything in the well as it sealed the well under it. The well was cut through the chalk and was excavated to 4m deep but went much deeper than we could excavate in the time we had. 

The well in the foreground, a recut boundary ditch in the background

The well in the foreground, a recut boundary ditch in the background

The extent of the excavations

The extent of the excavations

It contained 4th century pottery indicating that the Badbury to Dorchester road dates to the later 4th century and not the 1st century as had commonly been assumed.  There was also a lovely 3rd/4th century circle and dot copper alloy bracelet in fantastic condition, with a simple hook and eye fastening. 

The lovely copper alloy bracelet with a wonderful surface patina

The lovely copper alloy bracelet with a wonderful surface patina

The big surprise, as always, turned up on the last day of the excavation, a Neolithic stone axe! It was a bit battered on one corner and may have been picked up as a curiosity or maybe used for something but was eventually thrown away. It was over 3000 years old when it was found, and then another 1600 years old when re found.

Neolithic stone axe found down the Roman well

Neolithic stone axe found down the Roman well

The second well, sort of appeared one day. I got a call from the NT shop in
Corfe Castle to say that a hole had opened up in the small yard behind the shop, after the delivery truck had left (thankfully!) This had happened many years before so I thought I knew what had happened, but having never seen down the previous hole I was not quite sure.

By the time I arrived workmen had fenced the area and had opened up a larger area.

The hole after the builders had expaned the area.

The hole after the builders had expanded the area.

The lovely stone work and the lead pipe on the left

The lovely stone work and the lead pipe on the left

As I suspected it was a well, it was about 7m deep to the water level and beautifully built from the local Purbeck stone, and probably at least 18th century.  It still had the lead pipe in it that lead up to a hand pump. The pump still exists under a lean-to garage next to the hole! big clue 🙂 The capping that had been put in place years ago, when it opened up before, had failed, probably as delivery trucks these days are much heavier! It’s all fixed and capped and delivery trucks are not allowed to park in the yard.

So all’s well that ends well 🙂

sorry it had to be said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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