Thanks to all who came to our open day today. We gave tours around the excavations to 150 people, and showed finds, gave conclusions and generally discussed archaeology. It was good to see the Mayor of Hillingdon come along – he almost had time to dig. Thanks to Lesley and the friends for opening up the stables and dovecote, and to Jill and Nick for additional tours and specialist input. If everyone who came today volunteers next year, we could dig everything!
What do I think we have found? Well…we have a land surface cut into in order to build a house recorded in documents as Hopkyttes. This land surface contained finds from c. 1100-1200 AD, so the house must be later than that. The house had a chimney inserted into the end wall, so I’m thinking that the first build was 13th century, with the chimney added in the 14th.
I am not yet convinced that Hopkyttes remained when Eastcote House was built in the late 16th century. It looks as though the ground was levelled to make a flat building surface, with around 250 tons of ground dumped downhill of the House. These dumped layers contain finds from the 11th to 16th centuries, and were overlain by a gravel drive leading up from the High Road. At the end of the day, we found a pit, buried by all the made ground. We have some pottery from th fill of the pit: it might be from the Iron Age, but I need an expert to look at it. Oh, and clean it too.
Our last trench this year has archaeological remains of the gardens. Gravel paths, grassed areas and a flowerbed have been identified, with wheel ruts from a lorry visible. That is probably a lorry from the 1965 demolition.
I’m going to post until we have backfilled all our trenches, so keep an eye on yr computer, because it may not be every day.