Thursday, 27 August 2015

At last the sun is shining ......

Since I last blogged my feet have hardly touched the ground, hence a week since I last wrote.

I have had my two 'Cambridge' grandchildren, B and Ellie, to stay and was so proud when B loved doing the Adventurer course at our local 'Jungle Parc' and whizzed round the course quicker than some older children.  Daddy will have to take him on the adult course next!!

The day after they left it was the 50+ Adventure Club Summer Walk and picnic and we met in Stilton and set off for a 7 mile walk.  We passed the field where there used to be the medieval village of Washingley and looked at the field where the 'motte and bailey' castle had once stood.  The ancient fish ponds are still there.  On the way we saw this little chap -
The caterpillar of the Elephant Hawk Moth
and saw this strange tower in the distance -
An amazing building!
When we got past the building there were stables on the other side - not what we expected.

I was back at Chester Farm on Monday to help on the archaeological dig again and again I helped with pot and bone washing.
An area where there may have been a medieval hall, but definitely a Victorian glasshouse

Unfortunately by early lunchtime the rain had started to fall and we had to leave the dig site; however we had a very interesting talk from the resident archaeologist about the Roman town, the cemetery of which is being excavated by us!!  Oh and talking about the cemetery, I did have a look around at all the skeletons, some in better order than others.

I was back there again yesterday, but this time clad in heavy boots, waterproof trousers and waterproof jacket because it was raining and blowing a gale (typical British summer!!).  Work did start on the dig and I was pot washing, beginning to learn a little more about the different types of vessels that were used. 

Lunchtime in the tent, out of the rain
I was quite pleased that I queried some pieces of what I thought were the expensive Samian Ware but turned out to be a copy made in this country in Oxford.  I knew the shards were not quite right!!

I also learnt about the minute details of a dig; a very detailed map plotted with the numbers of all the finds but also each grave and skeleton is detailed as well showing every little bone and the stones lining the grave and all to scale.
Double click and this will come up larger
There have been skeletons of adults, children and the most poignant of all, a tiny baby, probably a still birth.  I found this so sad when I saw it as it was so very, very tiny.

However the most beautiful piece I washed was at the end and caused some excitement.
This is a piece of Iron Age quern and how do they know?  Well the hole in the top is a funnel which tapers down to the flat surface underneath where the corn or whatever was being ground would drop down for grinding.  It was extremely heavy but absolutely lovely; puddingstone is found naturally.

Oh, I have managed to finish one of my knitted 'toe to top' socks and it fits!!  Second one is started.


  1. Great to get to join in exploring the history of the site! You may need those socks for your next visit!

  2. You are such a busy bee, Granny, Walker, Archaeologist (well sort of) and crafter. I say crafter because I know its not only socks that are being worked on.