The dig is on for 4 weeks and week 1 has now passed, during which a 10m x7m trench has been opened on the Spital Field in the on-going search for the medieval hospital. This extends last year’s trench to the south – this is in an attempt to make sense of the cut (possibly the location of a robbed out wall) close to which some finger bones were found. So far only surface layers have been removed revealing (as in previous years) a layer of stones, possibly in-fill from old walls from which the good faced stone has been robbed out. Several shards of pottery were found amongst the stone last week, possibly pieces of roof tile according to our pottery expert Chris Cumberpatch.
In addition 3 test pits (the usual 1m x 1m) have been dug with Graham Ollerenshaw’s permission in his field adjacent to the Peak Cavern car park. Weather conditions in the first week of the dig were really pleasant until yesterday when the rain came in and the wind got up….. one of the test pits got down to 80 cm but little was found apart from a few artefacts in the upper layers such as clay pipe stem and a couple of worked flints. This morning’s rain and wind made mattocking a little challenging but it was certainly invigorating. We tried using a gazebo to provide some shelter from the rain but it nearly escaped so that idea bit the dust and the workers just got wet instead.
The forecast for next week is “improving” so come along and have a look at what’s going on at Spital Field.
Sunday 23 June: Angela Darlington