Our Field Archaeology Group are very active and routinely field-walk, metal detect and occasionally dig during Sumer months and as a result have a large collection of finds for research and display.
The group is well respected for its work and is often asked to help by regional and national groups. Some recent finds are on display in the Deli 45 Coffee Shop and the Field group team are often at the Coffee nights to explain the finds and promote their work.
Wellington Road 14 August 2022
Opportunities to conduct any form of archaeological work within in Newport are rare.
Since the current Field Group was formed back on 2001, only five have arisen, including the one on Sunday (14 Aug 2022).
Number 11 Wellington Road is of particular interest, as it’s situated adjacent to what is believed to be the site of a medieval moat. According to English Heritage, the moat once surrounded a fortified Manor House, although there is no physical evidence remaining of the building, at least above ground. It was hoped that medieval pottery or other artefacts such as stonework from the period might be recovered and the dig itself concentrated in the rear garden of the property, in the area used by the Elkes family as their vegetable garden.
On Sunday 14th August the first test pit was excavated. Although the ground was very dry, it was thankfully easy to work. The pit was approximately 1x1m square and went down to a depth of 75cm, at which point the natural ground level was reached, this appeared to be of compacted glacial sand and gravel.
The majority of the finds were pottery sherds from the late 17th/18th century. These included typical local Staffordshire Slip wares, stoneware and Black ware, all of which are regularly recovered from the local area.
Also recovered were a number of fragments of clay pipe stems, which probably date from the late 18th/19th century.
Two fragments of iron ore slag were also recovered, these appear to be of comparable date to the pottery as they appear to be poorly fired and still retain iron ore.
Building material, brick and slate fragments are also found and these look to relate to the current building, particularly the green slate, which is almost certainly from North Wales. This material is most likely waste from the construction of number 11, which was subsequently buried in the rear of the property, once construction had been completed.
During the sieving of the soil a fragment of medieval pottery was recovered. The fragment appears to be from a storage vessel or bowl, although the sherd is not large enough to be able to accurately gauge the size of the vessel, it clearly dates from the late medieval period AD1300-1450. Similar fragments were found by the Society in the ground of the Trinity Church also located on Wellington Road, earlier in the year.
During the morning, Graeme Gunnell was able to conduct a small detecting survey, recovering small fragments of lead, again almost certainly lead offcuts related to the lead flashing around the roof and windows. Perhaps the most interesting metal find was a decorative piece of lead or pewter found in the flowerbed adjacent the vegetable garden. The decoration appears to resemble a ‘fleur de lis’ and looks to date from the late17th/early 18th century.
The group hope to return to the site again in a few weeks time.
If you are interested in joining this group please contact:
Julian Meeson: 07902 741803