Blue Flower

There were 6 volunteers on site, the first job was to put laminated signs for the website on the large HLF notice fixed to the wall, and these were also put on the container and scaffolding so they could be seen from the opposite side of the river. The tunnel heads were cordoned off to prevent working around them as bats may be roosting there.

Metal bars from the blacksmith area were taken to the container for storage, and the stones which formed part of the staunch were viewed, Ivy was cleared from the largest one and we noticed distinctive shapes cut into one face, square indents and a curved profile. We need to find out how these stones worked with the lock gates. A team worked in the blacksmiths shop area and uncovered more bolts with plates set into the tarmac floor, these were left in situ. A brick feature was found which looks like a post hole. On the adjacent river bank weeds were cleared, also weeds from the river and around the scaffolding were cleared away. There were a number of finds in the blacksmith area including an unusual shaped tile, lead sheet, pieces of pottery, and thin coated glass. For pictures see the finds list.

The spoil heap from the river dredging was raked through and there were many interesting finds including a pen knife or razor, bones, door latch parts and a key, ring and chain possibly for securing boats, small brush with toothbrush style handle, belt buckle, jaw bone with 2 teeth and many other items. All the day’s finds were recorded, for full details and pictures see the finds list.

One team found the outer upstream edge wall of the main building running from near the river bank right across to the back of the building area, this showed how big the main building is, far bigger than we thought it was when we started exploring the site.

A small tree growing out of the staunch on the opposite river bank was cut down, as we had to cross the river anyway to see if the website sign could be read and to photograph it. A few sandbags were filled,  these and several lying around the site were placed on the new brick walls to protect the top from frost damage. The entire walls will be covered in the next few weeks.

We checked the water wheel bearings had oil on them and turned the wheel to keep it free and prevent it seizing up, it revolved about half a turn as the heavy side was at the top, revolving at quite a speed before slowing and stopping at the heavy point. It was chocked in place again for safety.

Wildlife seen today includes 2 swans and a cygnet, a pair of ducks, a colourful Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar and a Kingfisher which flew away from the wall next to the wheel and was seen flying downstream but we did not have a camera with us at the time. 

Graham Bartlett    Interactive Plan            Volunteer       Previous      Next     

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