Forty Hall Summer Dig - Day 4

15 Jul 2016

trench 1

Another great day’s progress investigating the interior of our palace building – we’ve nearly finished revealing and recording the floor levels in the main trench, and have found two distinct areas – the first at the north end (left and rear of picture) is made from a compact cobble surface including a large amount of chalk, while the second (right and rear of picture) is the remains of a mortar bedding, which must be the surface in which the glazed tiles we have found would have been set (we continued to find several more of these today).

What this difference in surface signifies, and how (if at all) the two were separated (maybe as two rooms inside the building) we can’t tell yet.

As expected, we extended the trench at its north-west end (foreground of picture) to follow the first of the two dwarf-wall lines. Although as we hoped, we did find another return on this wall, it is still only a small foundation for a wood-framed internal partition and not an external building wall. The three sides we have found probably enclose what was a cupboard or small storage room inside the main building, which is now looking much larger than we had imagined.

stained glass

purple stained glass

The trench continued to produce a variety of interesting and unusual finds including some shaped bricks that we think may have been the base of a column or even possibly a mantelpiece, and several pieces of window glass – including one particularly nice piece of purple-stained glass – something we very rarely find at Elsyng, even though we know from household accounts there were many windows with decoration including the royal arms and those of Sir Thomas Lovell, who owned the palace in the early 16th century.

Tomorrow we may extend the trench again, in the hope of eventually finding an end wall of the building, and will probably open another extension on the dwarf wall on the other side of the trench (mid-background of picture) in the hope of finding the end of the building in that direction.


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