The Excavation

Gettin Down to It
Getting Down to It

The excavations took place between Monday 20th June and Saturday 9th July, 2016.

Following the review of all the archaeological surveys, we made the decision where to carry out the excavations, with the help of students from Buxton Community School and St Thomas More’s School, Buxton.

Four trenches were opened in total and we were very pleased to have had Trent and Peak Archaeology (part of York Archaeological Trust) and Dr Ian Parker Heath on board to carry out the excavations.

Below follows a short summary of each of the trenches and links to the full reports.

Trench 1:
This was the site of a barn most likely to be dated to the earlier 19th century, possibly being built in the later 18th century. It was certainly no longer there in 1879. The field in which the barn was located was owned by Moses Tunnicliffe at this time and was farmed by the Slacks who lived in the house associated with Trench 2.

Students from Tommy More's helping to excavate the next layer in Trench 1
Students from Tommy More’s helping to excavate the next layer in Trench 1

Trench 2:
This was originally known as the ‘Cellar house” and the field in which it stood became affectionately known as the “Cellarfield”. After excavation it became increasingly likely that this house was that built by Mr Harrison in the late 17th Century, possibly plunging him into debt. It is now referred to as the ‘Harrison House’.

The corbelled roof of the cellar, put in sometime after 1841 but before 1879?
The roof of the cellar, put in sometime after 1841 but before 1879?

Trench 3:
This was the site of a possible medieval house platform. The initial excavations in June and July 2016 proved disappointing and so, after getting permission from the HLF and Natural England, the trench was reopened and extended in September 2016. This time the finds were more rewarding. A piece of ephemeral daub and pieces of pottery dating to the mid 16th Century have enabled us to tentatively suggest that this was the original home of the Horrobins before they built (?) and moved to the current farmhouse. A piece of charcoal from the same context as the pottery was sent off for radiocarbon dating and came back with the date 1350 +/- 30 years!

Trench 4:
This crossed a bank and ditch running across the field. Few finds came out of this trench and those that did came from the topsoil and subsoil.

Links to reports:

Report on the excavations of Trench 1, Trench 3 and Trench 4 (Parker Heath)

Report on the excavation of the extension to Trench-3 (Parker Heath)

 Report on the excavation of Trench 2 (Trent and Peak Archaeology)

A Community Archaeology Project At Under Whitle