Survey and Excavation at Slitting Mill, Rugeley
In October 2011, we carried out a small
exploratory excavation at a site in the district of Slitting Mill, just on
the west side of Rugeley. This followed a resistivity survey that we did
there in May. We had been asked to investigate the area by the
Staffordshire Industrial Archaeology Society, and it was thought that we
may find remains of 18th-19th Century Slitting or Rolling Mills. Pictures
and a full report can be found
here. You can also
reach this page through the Fieldwork and Trips menu on the left.
Geophysical survey of the Deserted Medieval Village at
In August 2011, we carried out magnetometry and
resistivity surveys at the deserted medieval village of Hungry Bentley,
about 4 miles south of Ashbourne.
The instruments we used were an FM36 gradiometer
loaned to us by English Heritage, and our own RM4 resistivity meter. Here
we are using the gradiometer in the eastern field at Hungry Bentley.
Winston Hollins, our
Dig Director, has written a report which can be downloaded from this new
Bentley page, which you can also find
through the main menu on the left (Fieldwork and Trips - Hungry Bentley).
On this page too, there is a brief summary of the results and some
references. The full survey data can also be downloaded from here.
Analysis of Seeds from the Tollgate Farm Roman Well
In 2009 we took a sample of material from deep in
the Roman Well at Tollgate Farm. Dave Thomas
has been examining these seeds under a microscope in order to identify
them. Here is one of the photographs he took for his report.
This is a whole barley grain complete with its
husk. It is wonderfully preserved given that it has been in the well for
nearly 2000 years! There are many more pictures in Dave's report - 20 or
more seeds, some moss and a thorn - which I have transcribed to
this page, which you can also find
through the main menu on the left (Fieldwork and Trips - Tollgate Farm -
You can also download a copy of his
Friday Meeting Dates 2012
We have now booked the rooms we use in the
Potteries Museum for 21 Friday evenings in 2012. Financial constraints do
not allow us to meet every Friday, so look at
this page (also accessed via the
Opening Dates menu link on the left) to see when we are open.
New Lecture Programme: Spring 2012
Our Lecture Programme, covering the first four
months of the new year, is now available, and you can see it
here. There are four very interesting
lectures. The first will be on Friday 13th January and it will be given by
Debbie Klemperer. The title is "The Anglo-Saxon Midlands". For more
information and for the titles and dates of the other three lectures,
follow the Lectures link in the menu to the left
Next SOTMAS meeting - update!
There was to have been a meeting on Friday 9th
December 2011, but unfortunately we had to cancel this as the theatre group currently performing a show in the museum theatre needed to use the rooms. So
we will next be open for the first lecture in the New Year, on Friday 13th January
The next opportunity to take part in
post-excavation work will be on Friday 27th January. There is still much post-excavation work to be done so we hope to see plenty of willing helpers there!
On behalf of the SOTMAS Committee, we would like to wish all our members and visitors to this site a very Happy Christmas and New Year!
A Season of Surveying...
This season we have carried out geophysical
surveys on several sites. Some of these have been new to us, and others
were sites we have worked on before.
At a talk last October on the subject of The
Bridestones, a Neolithic Burial Chamber on the Staffordshire/Cheshire
border near Congleton, we were asked if we could carry out a geophysical
survey of the monument. Inspired by the thought that we may be able to
help resolve controversies which have exercised antiquarians and
historians over the years regarding the original arrangement of the
stones, we approached English Heritage to see if they would allow us to
carry out a survey on the site.
English Heritage granted us a licence which
gave us, for a limited period, the right to carry out non-intrusive
surveys at The Bridestones. They also offered to lend us a magnetometer for the
purpose, and to give us some training.
So, in July, an English Heritage staff member brought
a Geoscan RM36 fluxgate magnetometer to Cox Bank Farm, where he showed us how to use it.
Before using the instrument at
we carried out trials at Tollgate Farm, Hammerwich, Colton and
Bentley (a deserted medieval village). We needed a licence from English
Heritage for this latter survey, as well.
Then we did the survey at
We also carried out resistivity surveys at these
For more pictures, results and discussion of what we
did or did not find out at these sites, follow the links above, or find
them via the "Fieldwork and Trips" link in the main menu. If
there is no link above, then I haven't uploaded or updated the relevant
page yet. I'll provide links as I do the updates.
27th November 2011
... and a little bit of digging
It wasn't all surveying this season, though. We also carried out a
small excavation in a garden in Colton
interesting medieval finds, but no structures). And we also did a
small exploratory excavation at Slitting Mill, Rugeley, for a local
Industrial Archaeology group. Again, you can find more pictures and
information on these digs on the relevant "Fieldwork and Trips" pages,
as I update them over the next couple of weeks.
27th November 2011