Blog: Shrewsbury Castle dig – day 2: Rain, with a chance of archaeology
The second day of the Shrewsbury Castle dig (Wednesday 2 September 2020) began very similarly to yesterday. Now we have found the target feature, our archaeologists Nigel Baker and Dai Williams have doubled the width of the narrow trench yesterday to an excavation area of 4 X 2 metres.
More turf and topsoil was removed as fellow volunteer Norman and University Centre Shrewsbury staff and students took turns with the spade, led and directed by the professional archaeologists. The extension was to discover more of the in-situ masonry feature first uncovered yesterday afternoon in the north end of the trench and the soil was quickly removed.
Finds emerging from this level were similar to what was found yesterday and included broken pottery, clear glass, domestic ware, clay smoking pipes, only a very few animal bones but many more metal nails and fittings.
After scraping away the levels of soil in the new area of the trench, so that the bottom was at the same depth as yesterday, large pieces of the metal frame from the Victorian glasshouses were discovered in the south end of the trench. The slot for holding the glass in place was clearly visible. Other metal finds from this section of trench included small size guttering and a latch for holding open one of the windowpanes.
The masonry feature at the north end of the trench was carefully cleaned to expose as much of the feature as possible and continued for the entire two-meter width of the trench. Deposited within millimetres of this feature appears to be a large fragment of a glass bottle with possibly a handle – we shall investigate further as we go through the week.
By Wm Whitfield and Morn Capper, on behalf of the volunteers on the Shrewsbury Castle dig.