TARG Excavations

An archaeological excavation is defined as, 'a programme of controlled, intrusive fieldwork with defined research objectives which examines, records and interprets archaeological deposits, features and structures and, as appropriate, retrieves artefacts, ecofacts and other remains within a specified area or site on land, inter-tidal zone or underwater.  The records made and objects gathered during the fieldwork are studied and the results of that study published in detail appropriate to the project design'.

Springfield  Barn  2016

 The disappointment of not getting a grant to dig Peats Close was soon offset by the opportunity to dig near Springfield Barn behind 37 High St., thanks to Alison, Malcolm and the National Trust. The site was known to us as it was next door to a known kiln site and an earlier resistivity survey had confirmed the presence of something interesting! Two large trenches revealed two large pot dumps dating mainly from the 15th to 17th century and including some spectacular decorated Cistercian ware. Though the full report is still in preparation, it seems quite possible that, on past form, some 200 kilograms of sherds and kiln material were unearthed! Happily, as the pots were washed, weighed and recorded on site we were able to return most of the pots to the earth from whence they came, only keeping the identifiable pots and the “specials” for further study.

38 High Street  2016

Meanwhile across the street, Mr Woodward had the urge to permanently fill in the inspection pit in his garage. When this pit was originally dug out large quantities of pot were found including a couple of near complete Cistercian Ware pots. At very short notice we were kindly invited to dig a 10ft by 2ft space between the pit and the garage wall. It was a tight fit ! Some 63 bags of sherd, kiln material and mud were dug up. As we burrowed deeper and deeper it rained and rained and the water table rose and rose .Good job we were wearing wellies! Whilst no complete pots were found, we now have a range of pot sherds which show what else was made on the site and this too is being written up for publication .

Narrow Lane

The Group was given the opportunity to excavate the vegetable plot of a garden in Narrow Lane. As the plot lay adjacent to a known pottery site on Burton Lane and because substantial amounts of pottery had been found by the owner over a number of years the Group was delighted to accept the offer.
 In the event, a huge amount of pottery and kiln furniture was discovered, enough to suggest the proximity of a kiln. The actual kiln site was not found.

Church Lane
November 2014

Church Lane is one of the known pottery sites.  This dig yielded lots of Midland Purple, kiln furniture and some beautifully decorated Cistercian ware.

Ley Farm, Heath End
May 2013

As we had hoped and expected, we found the base of a pot kiln.
It was a great week and our thanks go to Dave, Shaun and Andy from Mercian Archaeological Services  (http://www.mercian-as.co.uk)
 who gave excellent on the job training in levelling, stratigraphy, photography and drawing. Our drawings have got some way to go to be as good as theirs, but some of us achieved much more than expected! 
A report is to follow.

Standleys Barn
Hen Coop field (to the right of the drive) & garden - test pits.
October 2012

 There was a pot production site here and some pottery has been found.
Following a resistivity survey we had two days digging test pits in the field and garden, hoping to find where the kiln was.  We found a hearth - but not a pot kiln - and a possible drain.  In the garden we found lots of pot sherds, dark earth and more drains!

Southwood House Garden - November 2011  Talk, Resistivity and Excavation.

Southwood House on the Calke Estate has an unusual walled garden which research suggests could originate from when the house was first built. With permission and assistance from the National Trust TARG were able to carry out an excavation to attempt to determine its age and layout.   This was preceded by a talk from Janet Spavold to set the garden in the historical and cultural context of the late Middle Ages to early Tudor period, and a 'Resistivity' day, lead by Keith and Barbara Foster.    

Test Pits at Peats Close.   

Past fieldwalking had shown that there was decorated Cistercian ware and much Midland Purple ware made at Peats Close. Following Magnetometry and Resistivity surveys, eleven test pits were dug here, to find out more about the production site.

Test pits at Japonica Cottage.
September 2011 a large group of members dug four one metre test pits.

Kiln excavation at Ivy Leigh      2009/2010  

This was TARG's first project, an opportunity to dig on a known pottery site, where we were lucky enough to find the remains of a kiln.
It's all been filled in now but there is more to be found on this site.  We hope
to revisit sometime in the future.

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