22 Saturday 8th May - Finishing Off & Viewing Lower Houses

Today Alex, Mike  and Paul did more work on trench 3, taking out more of the rubble from the lower part of the trench and tidying up the 
rest of it in preparation for drawing.  Christine drew the trench and Georgina and Janet worked on trench 2, taking out the layer of slag to see if there was anything below it.  This proved inconclusive.

Our attention was distracted when Trevor arrived telling us it was the open viewing morning for Lower Houses, which is being sold with its fields.  We took the opportunity to have a good nosey round the whole property.   The date-stone on the two storey porch is 1592 but has been re-cut.  However, the style of the porch and house, to the right, is consistent with this date.  This fascinating building was thus built a generation or two after the dis-afforestation and breaking up of the ancient Goldshaw Booth vaccary.  The wing to the left looks to have been rebuilt and widened, possibly turned into two tiny cottages in the C19 because two late-ish doors exist in the end wall.  The roof gables also look to have been rebuilt.  The substantial barn appears to be late C18/early C19.  These are lovely buildings and let's hope they go to a good owner and are not spoilt by unsympathetic alterations.

After lunch we took levels and photographs of all the remaining trenches and Christine completed the drawings.  

Trevor arrived with the tractor and we rapidly backfilled all except trench 3 - the bottom one.  Backfilling has never been so straightforward with the tractor, though Mike made a token attempt at traditional methods!
Packing up for the penultimate time.  Tomorrow, we shall consider what we have found and how it relates to the landscape around.  Over the last few days we have sheltered from the cold in Trevor's trailer, looking at an ancient ditch and holloway while we drink tea.  What, if anything do these have to do with our bloomery/blast furnace site?

Thanks to Janet for providing most of the text and Alex for the photos.