TCA were very pleased when Dr Richard Bates of St Andrews University offered to carry out a geophysics survey on TCA sites in Christchurch on Friday 15 August 2014. Richard had been surveying at Durrington Walls and, after spending the night in Christchurch, used the instrument he had with him on our site at Millhams. At the request of the Priory House Charity trustee, we also surveyed the grounds of Priory House, and we are grateful to English Heritage in fast-tracking our application for permission so that we could take advantage of Richard’s offer.
For the technically-minded, Richard used an inductive conductibility meter, coupled to GPS system for position-fixing. This instrument, supplied by a Czech company, is totally non-intrusive requiring no penetration of the surface of the soil on site, whilst the GPS positioning system allows the site to be surveyed without laying out grids of measurement tapes. The configuration of the instrument and the radiated frequencies it uses are designed for fairly deep penetration, and at Millhams it is our hope that we may discover water channels in the medieval ground surface which we know to be buried to depths of between 1.5 and 2 metres. At the Priory site , we hope this is the first in a series of investigations aimed at discovering more about the demolished Priory buildings.