Thursday, 17 October 2013

17 October 2013, Ulley Roman Project Day 4

We were faced with a completely different day this morning compared to yesterday's downpour. The sun shone and the views from site were amazing! From the field you can see almost into Derbyshire and all the way out over Sheffield. If there is a Roman fort here then they certainly picked the position well!

The field-walking continued towards the bottom of the field, but unfortunately the finds were getting sparser as we moved further away from the modern buildings. However, there was still artefacts in the field.

This is the view of the field from the south, looking north. The telegraph pole lies almost on the position of the ditch Philip Smedley had drawn on his original plan and it runs from just in front of the house on the left across the centre of this picture. Hopefully, the geophysics will pick this up.

Speaking of which, the good weather allowed for many more grids to be surveyed, the team really had got the hang of the machine now!

The good weather also brought a good turn out of helpers, we had people dropping in all day and some left early, but here are some of today's hard workers:

And here are our neighbours! These happy pigs live just over the road from the site and they seemed to enjoy the results of yesterday's rain!

Furthermore today, John brought some photographs with him of the original excavations at Ulley from the 50s, which Philip was involved with. On his plan there is a road marked and here it is under excavation:

They were working just over the stone wall that bounds the field, and this is the same view today. You can see that the two houses in the distance match, although one has been pulled down and replaced since the time that the excavation was undertaken.

In this picture the view is the opposite way, towards the west and the heavy foliage that is a feature of the modern boundary of Ulley Hall Farm didn't exist in the 1950s and the land was quite open.

The road that was excavated then featured these heavy curb stones and these may be picked up in the survey, we hope!

We will have better scans of these pictures in the future, along with some others, but they give us a good indication of what may be underground in the field.

And finally, a gentleman who worked with Philip Smedley in the 1950s visited us and was full of stories of the transformation of Ulley, including the interesting fact that one of Churchill's secretaries actually lived in the village! Another amazing day with some more great information about the site and surroundings!

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