Castleton Dig Diary – New Hall and test pits

De-turfing began at the New Hall site on 8th May to mark out a large trench about 9m x 9m


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Then quickly got down to the smaller 2016 trench


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During the next week some really nice features were excavated – the foundations of a wall running north-south and the remains of an adjoining external staircase, both of which had been visible on an old photo and paintings of New Hall.


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The last stages of the New Hall excavation at New Hall


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Colin’s drone photo gave a great bird’s eye view of the New Hall trench. The top of the photo is south here – it shows the south and east walls of one wing of the hall, most of the east wall having been robbed out. At the north-east corner you can see a section of internal wall. In many parts of the trench the excavation had come down onto a compacted floor.


A number of test pits were dug around the village, mostly but not only in fields. The first were in the Spring Field, by kind permission of Rita and Brian – a few finds were made, mostly clay pipe fragments and pottery, which appear to be fairly typical of finds on the fields around Castleton.


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A few test pits were dug in Seven Roods Field (with Gary’s permission) – it rained quite a lot at that point but it was really good practice for a large number of students. Finds were not abundant but again included pottery and clay pipe.


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Two test pits were dug at houses on How Lane by Pauline and Arthur, with a little help from another – in one of the test pits a large ceramic pipe was revealed. That was (sadly) the most exciting find.


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