Pit 20 – Further Details of the Structure Revealed

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have now managed to expose over 3 metres of a major structural beam associated with our assumed mill by reopening and extending our original Pit 20 and by some careful tunnelling into the westward end of the extended pit. The proximity of the bank of the Millstream and a line of mature trees prevent us from following the beam to its end. However we have revealed some further features as shown in the accompanying photograph of the western end of the pit. The main beam disappears into the west wall of the pit whereas at right angles to it can be seen the beginning of further, slightly smaller, beams extending in a north-south directions. Protruding into the tunnel from the roof can be seen the ends of wooden stakes, which we assumed defined the bank or formed a fence along the Millstream from a time which post-dated the mill structure. (The red/white scale which lies along the length of the beam has bands of 10cm.)

The westward half of the beam is joined to the rest by a scarf joint and appears to be more massive and more crudely finished – we have assumed that it is older and the scarf joint evidence of a repair or extension of the beam. We have attempted to take a sample of the apparently older half for tree-ring dating, to see if we can push back the date of 1282 AD provided by the tree-ring technique a sample taken from the end of the eastern half.

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