We have managed another three days of survey despite the rain and have made good progress along the southern edge and around the cricket pitches. As you can see from the first image below, there isn’t a great more left to do. A few grid squares near the London Gate, and whatever we can manage in the trees towards the ramparts. I recently discovered that English Heritage did a magnetometry and resistance survey along the back of the ramparts in 1994 which gives us some interesting comparative data.
The most obvious feature is the bend in the 1955 ditch which we have picked up nicely. The elegant curve between the two straight sides of the ditch is a credit to the Roman surveyors who laid out this important early feature.
The majority of the interesting features, however, have come up along the new line of grid squares at the south of our plot. In the second image below I have labelled a few items. We have one very clear building with four or maybe five rooms. There are also tentative hints of a much larger building possibly with a courtyard. There are also a number of very magnetic features which are possibly industrial features such as pottery kilns. I have labelled one “key hole” shaped feature which is a likely candidate.
Lastly, there is a curious group of features just to the west of Watling Street and north of the London Gate (see below). There is a clear linear feature with a nice rounded corner forming a right angle, almost certainly a ditch. Slightly to the east where that feature fades a little is a line of positive anomalies which could be a series of large pits. Before jumping to conclusions I need to consult a little more widely but these features could be rather important.
We will be running a short course for UCL masters students on February 17th and 18th in this general area. Do come along and say hello, or even lend a hand!
As always, many thanks to our stalwart volunteers who have turned out in the wind and rain showers to make this all possible.