We have now turned our attention to the north of the Millhams garden area in which we have been working, with the excavation of two further test pits, 51 and 52. Pit 51 turned out to be largely inconclusive and has now been filled in although we have sampled the various layers revealed with a view to some further analysis. Pit 52 has been excavated to a depth approaching 1.5 to 2m and has revealed the usual set of layers of silt, sand and gravel although at the lowest gravel layer we have found this to be overlain with a large numbers of fragments of water-logged wood which we interpret as belonging to a former revetment of the bank of a water channel. The photograph shows the collection of the fragments recovered (the red/white scale has bands of 100mm). None of the wood was found in place so we assume that the revetment, if such it was, had been allowed to collapse over time. The wood consist mainly of wooden stakes of softwood showing evidence of bored holes which may have been used to nail the stakes to some horizontal planking – a small piece oak hardwood was also recovered in isolation.
The gravel layer revealed a modest concentration of the usual collection of medieval pottery and bone which we have come to expect on site. However it has proved very difficult to bottom out the pit due to the speed at which water enters at the lowest level. The flow appears to be associated with the tide, and near high tide we need to run our pump and generator continuously to keep pace with the water flowing in. When not pumped the pit will eventually flood to a depth of a metre or so.