Sixty Sixth Dig Day – Friday 13th December 2013

Looking S at excavation of E side of chimney

Looking S at excavation of E side of chimney.

A cloudy but (relatively) mild day, which just about stayed dry till it was time to go home. It was also one of the best days over the past couple of months of the dig for finds of both quality and quantity.

Looking NE at excation over east side of front garden gateway

Looking NE at excation over east side of front garden gateway.

It was a dig of two halves. The 3x1m area in front (north) of the front garden gateway was continued to be excavated.

Finds tray from upper part of demolition fill over north-east part of front garden gateway

Finds tray from upper part of demolition fill over north-east part of front garden gateway.

Finds from the upper level of eastern half of the demolition fill were unexceptional;

  • Large iron bolt

    Large iron bolt.

    Iron bolt showing screw threaded end

    Iron bolt showing screw threaded end.

    Iron bolt showing square cross-section under head

    Iron bolt showing square cross-section under head.

  • Western Cartridge Corporation .45 Automatic Colt Pistol cartidge

    Western Cartridge Corporation .45 Automatic Colt Pistol cartridge.

    The best find was a .45 Automatic Colt Pistol cartridge by the Western Cartridge Company. It appears that the .38 Enfield No. 2 was prefered by the British because it had less recoil. The heavier .45 Colt and its many variants needed more training to use than was cost-effective for the many WW2 conscripts, but because of its better stopping power it was particularly used by those on special operations. This increases the likelihood of the local rumour that the No. 3 Newmarket Hill area – which covered the area from Woodingdean to Southease, including Balsdean – was used for secret training operations.

Looking S at excavation E of chimney base

Looking S at excavation E of chimney base.

However, the continuing excavation of the demolition rubble east of the chimney revealed some really exceptional finds:

  • Finds tray from E of chimney base

    Finds tray from E of chimney base.

    Pink and white wash jug shards

    Pink and white wash jug shards.

    Rim shard of large wash bowl

    Rim shard of large wash bowl

    Moulded pattern on outside of large rim shard of ceramic wash bowl

    Moulded pattern on outside of large rim shard of ceramic wash bowl

    More matching very large shards of both a pink and white wash bowl and jug were found. A similar design has been found on the Internet, dating to about 1920 – Newmarket Farm was certainly not exceptional in having no mains water – half of Woodingdean had no mains water till 1929;

  • A Garton’s (HP Sauce) glass and cork (club sauce type) stopper (1903-?) – the cork of course had decayed, but the bottle or one like it may well be hidden amongst our many glass finds of the dig;
  • Copper alloy cylindrical object

    Copper alloy cylindrical object.

    An unknown copper alloy cylindrical object resembling a hose pipe adapter;

  • Brooke & Prudencio bottle top

    Brooke & Prudencio bottle top

    A Brooke & Prudencio mineral water metal screw top from the late 1920’s or early 1930’s – this Bristol based company had a bottling plant in Lewes;

  • A screw threaded cap for a mortar;
  • Ceramic side plate shards

    Ceramic side plate shards.

    Ceramic shard with 'MADE IN ENGLAND' inscription

    Ceramic shard with ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’ inscription.

    The ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’ inscription was introduced by a number of potteries in the early decades of the 20th century;

  • Green-ish ceramic or plaster bead

    Green-ish ceramic or plaster bead.

    A few of these green-ish coloured beads have also been found elsewhere on the site – they possibly originated from a ‘beaded doily’ to keep flies out of open containers, such as plates of food, jars and jugs;

  • A very dirty 'bisque' doll's face

    A very dirty ‘bisque’ doll’s face.

    This same design of ‘bisque’ doll’s face was recently found nearby;

  • A possible shard of the body of a 'bisque doll'

    A possible shard of the body of a ‘bisque doll’

    This ceramic shard may belong to the same type of doll as that of the head shard shown above – 2 articulated arms and a leg have been previously been found, one of whose joints may have fitted into its hole;

  • Possible copper alloy thimble concreted together with rusty nails

    Possible copper alloy thimble concreted together with rusty nails.

    Possible copper alloy thimble concreted together with rusty nails

    Possible copper alloy thimble concreted together with rusty nails.

    This seems to be a copper alloy thimble – made for small fingers;

  • A Sussex Brick & Estates brick

    A Sussex Brick & Estates brick.

    Two other small fragments of Sussex Brick & Estates Co. Ltd. brick have been found – the only named bricks from the site – which date from between 1922 and 1930, so most likely belong to some (unknown) building works or repairs by Oscar Selbach;

  • One of a few shards of a floral design plate

    One of a few shards of a floral design plate;

  • One of many fragile fragments of metal gauze

    One of many fragile fragments of metal gauze.

    This metal gauze was almost certainly from a fly screen, possibly a meat safe, and has been found right across just about all of the areas excavated outside the cottage;

  • Sewn pieces of wood

    Fragments of wood with stitches.

    Badly decayed fragments of wood were uncovered bearing stitches threaded through drilled holes belonging to an unknown object;

  • Plastic (PVC) doll's leg

    Plastic (PVC) doll’s leg

    A small (PVC?) plastic doll’s leg – if it is PVC then it dates to sometime after 1926;

  • Copper alloy hollow knob with iron at base

    Copper alloy hollow knob with iron at base

    This hollow brass knob may have been part of a bedstead, the hole in its side may have held a rail;

  • Half a split red plastic (PVC?) waisted cylinder

    Half a split red plastic (PVC?) waisted cylinder

    This split moulded plastic part of an unknown object, if PVC, dates to after 1926;

  • A shard of a decorative ceramic object with a narrow slot in the top

    A shard of a decorative ceramic object with a narrow slot in the top

    This decorated ceramic object may possibly have been a small money-box (the slot in the top is easily big enough to take an old penny), with a landscape of birds and trees on one of its sides;

  • Mother of pearl button

    Mother of pearl button

    A small mother of pearl button – yet another indicator that however poor the farm labouring occupants may have been, many chose to spend money on pretty things.

Natural England’s Castle Hill National Nature Reserve wardens had done some more clearance work of the scrub immediately to the south-east of the site, which probably originated from the suckers of a plum-tree in the Newmarket Farm Cottage garden. They uncovered two large objects:

  • Screw picket for barbed wire

    Screw picket for barbed wire

    Though these were used for the quick installment of barbed wire defences during the first world war, this almost certainly dates from sometime between 1942 and 1945;

  • A large length of 1" iron pipe

    A large length of 1″ iron pipe;

    This approximately one inch diameter iron pipe may not have been used to transport water, but more likely was used as a framework to support an unknown structure.

 

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3 thoughts on “Sixty Sixth Dig Day – Friday 13th December 2013

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Newmarket Hill – a South Down Blog! | Newmarket Hill

  2. Pingback: Sixty Ninth Dig Day – Friday 27th December 2013 | Newmarket Hill

  3. Pingback: Seventieth Dig Day – Sunday 29th December 2013 | Newmarket Hill

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