Doug Moir the Planning Officer (Archaeology) at Lancashire County Archaeology Service, Dr Gerry McDonnell of Gerry McDonnell Archaeometals and Dr John Gater of GSB Prospection Ltd and, of course, Time Team have recently been helping us out with the site. On 18th October, we all went down to watch John Gater do a magnetometry survey. The aim was to see if such a survey could locate a hearth.
John walked a 20 m square and showed us the results immediately. The area of slag was just in the corner part where we had excavated but he could pick up no trace of a furnace. He re-did the grid using a more frequent measurement but he did not have the software there to show us the results of that. It didn't look promising as the readings weren't coming up anything like what he would have expected. Gerry suggested that the furnace could have been eroded away from the side of the bank but it wasn't possible to survey there because of the proximity to the wire fence (which messes up the readings). The results will be sent to us but it looks as if all we can do now is have another dig at it in the Spring or Summer. Gerry said he would have a close look at the samples of slag to see if that gave up any clues.
This was not exactly what we were hoping for but interesting all the same. We're all quite chuffed to have had a day out with the experts and are grateful for their time and interest.
Alex took the pictures.