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 Hungry Bentley


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.


Hungry Bentley magnetometry


Winston Hollins, our Dig Director, has written a report which can be downloaded from this new Hungry 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 - Seeds).

You can also download a copy of his original report.



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 2012.


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.


The Bridestones


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.


Magnetometry training 1 Magnetometry training 2


Before using the instrument at The Bridestones, we carried out trials at Tollgate Farm, Hammerwich, Colton and Hungry Bentley (a deserted medieval village). We needed a licence from English Heritage for this latter survey, as well.


Then we did the survey at The Bridestones.

We also carried out resistivity surveys at these sites.


Resistivity at The Bridestones


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 (lots of 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




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Website originally designed by Alex Carnes, Jan 2006. Last updated 07/07/2012 by John Winch.