Ready, steady, dig!

It’s been a very productive day on site, with both the archaeological dig and our family activities… so apologies for the very late post (a couple of hours later and it would be tomorrow!).

Cathy has sadly decided to leave the dig, as she will be returning to Canada. It’s been great working with her here at Godolphin, and we thank her for all her interesting finds- some of which are still a mystery!

The newly opened trench F is beginning to reveal the original Cider House ramp, as well as some other hard standing which would have been created to stop the carts sinking in to the softer ground of the orchard. We will be extending this trench further, in the hope of picking up some of the footprint of the original building (which we did not find in trench C at the rear of the building).

Beginning to reveal the Cider House ramp in trench F

Beginning to reveal the Cider House ramp in trench F

Trench A has been cleared, ready to draw the (cross)section tomorrow, and the bank also appears to seal a late medieval soil.

Volunteers disappear in to trench A!

Volunteers disappear in to trench A!

The late medieval layer seen in trench B.

The late medieval layer seen in trench B.

In trench E the digging continues, to search for evidence of the possible medieval Trescowe-Breage road.

The pottery in trench D has produced a Mike Dodd/Peter Schofield egg cup on the site of what we now know to be the Japanese climbing kiln.This was inspired by Bernard Leach’s 1920 Shoji Hamada kiln.

You may be wondering what the title of this post has to do with any of today’s news. Well, in trench D, the competitiveness has kicked in for the kiln digging race…

Timing the kiln digging race.

Timing the kiln digging race.

… or is one of our volunteers waiting for the next tea break?!

Potty about pottery!

It’s been another great day at Godolphin, and our luck with finding pottery hasn’t run out! It has been made apparent, through research evidenced by finds over the last two days, that there was a small make-shift pottery adjacent to the Cider House, before the Cider House Pottery itself. The young Peter Schofield, who grew up at Godolphin, decided to create his own pottery in the grounds. Accompanied by his friend, the potter Mike Dodd, they began to work on this project in the 1960s. Today the floor of this pottery was uncovered, complete with handmade bricks and pieces of broken pot.

Two volunteers uncover the floor of the pottery in trench D.

Two volunteers uncover the floor of the pottery in trench D.

Research tells us, that this became redundant after the Cider House Pottery was used in the 1970s. Bernard Leach, a close friend of Peter Schofield’s mother Mary (who was the sister to renowned St Ives artist Peter Lanyon) assisted the young potters in creating a working pottery, thus leaving their little pottery to the side unused.

We are very pleased to have uncovered the floor to pottery, and in turn discovered a little more about the story of pottery here at Godolphin. Let’s hope the other trenches become this successful too!

Sieving for finds in trench A

Sieving for finds in trench A

The sieving continued in trench A today, and the trench itself is becoming much deeper. We are hoping to cut further in to provide a cross-section of the soil. This could potentially help us with the dating of objects, and help us to understand the movement of the soil around the orchard area. In turn this will then give us clues to the agricultural activity around the estate, as this is often the cause of disturbed soil.

Sadly, the trench directly behind the Cider House has not provided us with many finds, and we may need to stop working on it soon. We had hoped to find a clue to a possible building previously situated on the site of the Cider House, but unfortunately the trench has not supported this theory. The shallow trench and number of tree roots also mean that excavation is very difficult here.

On a more positive note, we will begin extending trench D (the old pottery) tomorrow, and also hope to open a new trench at the top of the orchard. Today we welcomed St Uny School to Godolphin, as part of their ‘Treasure’ project. All the staff and students had a fantastic day, and even brought some of their own finds for our archaeologists to identify, including an interesting little Victorian medicine bottle. We look forward to welcoming them to Godolphin again soon.