• Middleton Hall Excavation - Trench I (1) 2011

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Map Argraffiad 1af (1868-1892) Ail Argraffiad (1899-1908) Trydydd Argraffiad (1920-1932) Pedwerydd Argraffiad (1938-1954) Tithe Map
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This photograph was taken of Trench 1 after the first day of the Middleton Hall Excavation in 2011, once all the turf and top soil had been removed. You can see from the photograph that there is a linear, light brown patch of earth running from north to south in the centre of the trench which is further highlighted by the dark brown earth both to the east and west of this feature. It was not clear what this feature was on first inspection other than the fact that it was rather high up in the stratigraphy (archaeologically meaning it was probably a new edition as it was located directly below the topsoil). Our first immediate thoughts was that it was probably a drainage feature or a ditch cutting for a pipe, probably associated with Waun Las farm as the feature headed in that general direction. As the for the darker soil located either side of this feature, it was quite clear from day one that these where probable rubble deposits associated with the demolition of a building, whether this was associated with Middleton Hall remained to be discovered. The reason for this conclusion being that the normal soil colour of this area is light brown with a clay like consistency, where as this deposit, although had the same consistency was much darker probably from staining from charcoal (giving an indication of fire, probably of bonfires to incinerate unwanted materials) as well as a large proportion of angular stone which was probably the remains of the core of the walls (Austin & Dollery 2011).

Almost immediately we had been able to answer one of our primary questions, was there archaeology in this location? From the discovery of the rubble deposits this question could be answered with a definitive yes. Our next primary questions where now to assess the extent of survival of the archaeology beneath these rubble deposits and most importantly to ascertain whether these deposits and potential underlying archaeology where associated with Middleton Hall.

Austin, D. & Dollery, J. The Excavation. In Austin, D [Ed] 2011 Paradise Lost In Search of a Garden before the Garden: Middleton Hall. Report of project conducted in 2011. Heritage Lottery Fund.

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