It’s been another busy week for our trainees and Explainer volunteers, and the trench looks very different to how it was 10 days ago.
In the main part of the trench trainees have been cleaning, photographing, recording and drawing the deep features, some of which are now being excavated. Matt Nicholas and Tim Allen from Historic England came to look at these on Wednesday. They were intrigued by their shape and depth below ground level, and have enlisted the help of colleagues and contacts. One suggestion is beds for plants such as asparagus – more news on this when we have it.
Trainees have also cleaned, drawn, photographed and recorded the bricks in the east of trench. These may be linked to a Victorian greenhouse or summerhouse, with structures visible in the area in 19th century maps. They have also recorded and processed the finds found on and between the bricks, which may be helpful for dating, and are excavating a potential rubbish pit found at their southwest.
There have also been other changes in the trench. After a visit from a Tree Officer we were granted permission to extend the eastern end. Our initial aim was to investigate whether the bricks continue. However, trainees have already uncovered what may evidence of another structure.
Our trench is also growing to the north. A small extension currently being created will allow trainees to investigate whether the bricks continue northwards. Once that we know the limits of the structure we can begin to remove the bricks, and see whether the features in the soil continue beneath them.
The Explainer volunteers have similarly had a busy week. We’ve had lots of interest from visitors to the Castle, who have been able to see the dig in action, find out about the history and archaeology of the Outer Bailey and the Castle site more broadly, handle finds and learn about other events taking place as part of the Festival of Archaeology.
We've also welcomed a group of international scholars joining us through the University of Nottingham, and Nature in Mind (a service supporting people with mental health problems and promoting well-being and recovery through engagement with nature-related activities).
'Posh Lunch Thursday' also returned this week, while there was great amusement at our efforts to erect our new marquee. We'd like to thank the person (who asked to remain unnamed) who kindly made the purchase of this possible, providing shade and allowing us to continue even during rain.
As we get ready for week three we'd like to thank this week's trainees, the brilliant Explainer volunteers, all those who have come to deliver specialist activities, the groups and visitors who have joined us, and the staff from Historic England, NCMG and Nottingham City Council who continue to offer support.
Week 2 Explainer volunteers and Alison