Field Walking Reports

We are holding a presentation of finds on 7th November, 7.30pm at Westbourne House, see the events page for more details. 

BHS Field-walking progress report for AGM – May 2019

Further to the report given to the BHS AGM 2018, all identified material relating to the purported settlement or farmstead of Ashstead/Ashgate/Ashslades was assembled, together with maps and Lidar images, to support the identification of the target area for field-walking.  Meetings were held with the land owners and a site visit was organised, accompanied by archaeologist Elaine Jones, of Rutland History and Archeology Society, to match the physical features on the ground to the images and to decide how best to proceed. An invitation to participate was issued to all BHS members and training was arranged with Peter Liddle, of Leicestershire and Rutland Field Workers, at Leicester University.

In total, 6 members participated in gridding out and walking an area of approximately 12 acres, at 2meter intervals, over a period of 4 months, whilst crop growth was sufficiently sparse to enable detailed observation of the tilled soil surface. A representative sample of artefacts was collected and subsequently cleaned, sorted and identified under the supervision of Elaine Jones. Finds included a handful of struck flint and lithics, a quantity of handmade brick and dressed stone, and pottery from periods ranging from Roman, Saxo/Norman and early medieval, to later and post medieval, and more recent centuries. These finds are in the process of being plotted onto a map of the area walked and an interim report will then be produced.

It is estimated that it will take at least three to four more seasons to completely cover the total area of interest, although this could be reduced if more field-walking volunteers come forward. In addition, desk top research continues in the hope of identifying further documented information on the history of the area and any evidence in respect of the type of settlement/structures that may have been present.