Welcome to the end of our week eight.
In addition to all the things that you already know regarding the findings of this exercise: the 19th-century cementation and crucible furnace-related structures, slaughter houses, court yards, brick built structures, Victorian drains, eastern and western walls of the 18th-century bowling green, remains of the 17th-century Sheffield Castle, remains of an earlier, 14th- and 15th-century castle and the related structures – cobbled yards and floors and the moat, I think we also have a raised earthwork – a motte. And that is, without a doubt, the most spectacular discovery. Another surprise comes in the form of a bottomless ditch – although we are 6 m inside the moat we have not yet reached its base. We’ll have to augur it, because we can’t dig any further safely.
This week was the last week for our volunteers. My big, warm, heartfelt thank you goes to all of you – diggers and finds washers equally. It has been our absolute privilege to work together on the site that clearly means a great deal to all of you; please do stay in touch.
And, as a cherry on the top of my, for some, excruciating cake jokes, this week the students of Sheffield Hallam University came and did street art on the hoarding panels that hide the site. In groups, they’ve designed and applied their art inspired by Sheffield Castle, history, archaeology and heritage. Their spectacular work is still there. Go and have a look.
What happens next, I hear you ask, dear reader.
The very last week on site, our week nine, during which we will backfill the trenches and consolidate our archive and do some borehole sampling, will be followed by several months of the off-site analysis of the finds, samples, records and archive. A first report will be delivered later this year, with a more detailed analysis of the findings from the site expected in summer 2019. This will help inform the future development of the former Castle Markets site on Exchange Street.
So, don’t worry. Although after the next week I will be taking a wee break from blogging (what am I going to do with my free time, I haven’t got a clue!), I will be back with regular updates.
See you here for the last update next week.
Have a fun-filled weekend.