I began excavating my first soak-away on this site, and judging by it’s initial size it could turn into quite a monster and could be as large as others excavated near by. Well, I assume it’s a soak-away judging by its similar shape and size to the other ones and its location (at the back of the known housing plots which is where you find these sort of things). But there’s plenty of time to be proved wrong…


Digging this large Post Medieval feature in zone 1. Will this be another soakaway?

The feature appears to be hacked through the earlier pre-existing layers and whilst the feature itself shows clear against this, I have yet to find a solid stoney (natural) side to it but I’ll hopefully get this further down. The presence of solid clay on the edge of it’s east side suggests some possible packing up of an unstable edge. This would make sense bearing in mind it’s cut through essentially soily layers as opposed to solid stoney-natural (at least, at this level), so this might be expected (but it’s too early so say for sure if this is the case).

Finds so far include modernish debris of brick, tile, bone and pot sherd and much is quite late in date (mid to late 1800’s?) which makes sense, but it also includes some medieval pottery (unfortunately in fragments) and some definate medieval floor tile – which suggests the presence some tasty earlier features or occupation buried below (these earlier finds would have been dragged up with the construction of the soak-away). There seems to be little in the way of organic matter preserved here but I’ll know if there is as the soil would probably become greener and also could get rather smelly, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

It will be interesting to see how the depth of these modern features that we’re currently dealing with measure up with the depth of the earlier activity we have suggestions of, and just how much of it will be preserved below.