• Middleton Hall Excavation - Trench III (4) 2011

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This elevated photograph of Trench III was taken on the very last day of the 2011 season of excavations at Middleton Hall. As the excavations drew to a close, a few interesting discoveries were made in this trench. Firstly was the discovery of charcoal deposits within the fill of the water feature (Austin & Dollery 2011). This gave possible indications that the hypothesis of demolition material being used to infill the feature during the Paxton era of the estate may after all have been correct. However as the excavation drew to a close there was little time to further investigate this feature, save from recording the layer and for it to be investigated further at a later date (Austin & Dollery 2011).

In this photograph looking south, you can clearly see the excavated section into the bank in the south east corner of the trench. You can also faintly make out the transition from the bank to the infill of the water feature, where the light brown clay with stone ceases and a slight brown silt begins. At the bottom of the photograph in the trench you can make out an area of black. This is the area in which charcoal was found is possible evidence of demolition material from the hall being used to infill the large water feature. Overall the excavation in trench III achieved its primary objective of looking for potential for archaeology, of which stratified archaeology was clearly identified. The excavation of the area also offered tantalising glimpses of the history of the feature as well as confirming it function, as a large ornamental water feature that would have adorned a large regency garden.

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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