Something a little different this time. The CAGG team were asked a favour by the Parochial Church Council at Datchworth. Basically, they are running out of space in the graveyard. A local farmer has offered them some land to extend the cemetery, but because of the possibility of archaeological remains in the area they need to have an assessment done before they can extend the churchyard. Some ten years or so ago, the Welwyn Archaeological Society did some limited excavations in the area prior to the building of their church hall, and so we were approached to see if we could do a geophysical survey. The area which will be affected is quite small, so we did the mag survey of the entire field over a day and a half, during which time we managed a resistance survey at 0.5m spacing of the key area.
We undertook the survey over two days, the 13th and 19th April 2014. The mag survey was finished by lunchtime of the second day and would have been even quicker if it wasn’t for the awkward shape of the field — resulting in every grid (bar one) being a partial.
The mag survey shows… not a great deal. The important area to the north of the current churchyard shows nothing much at all. To the east of the church there are some potential features, but the most likely area is the northern part of the survey. This spot also has lots of lumps and bumps and the farmer thinks there may have been a building there. The clarity of the survey is badly impacted by the large quantities of farm machinery parked there and a farm shed.
The resistance survey was much slower. When taking readings every 0.5m, it takes a day to cover the area the mag completes in about 40 minutes! The high resistance feature (shown in black) that runs along the western edge of the survey, is a bank running parallel to the ditch that runs along the road. The other features are not visible on the surface. High resistance features are usually things like roads, paths, walls and sold floors. In this case, we appear to have a linear feature running N-S to the west of our survey area as well as a second one near the “moat” at the top. I need to ask around a bit more before committing myself to a particular interpretation, but they are certainly too wide for a wall.