Volunteers carry out a historical buildings survey of the Dovecote
Volunteers measuring a straight line across the building and down from the horizontal line to the bottom of the building.
There were vast differences between these measurements taken In many places across the width of the dove cote. This is because the building work at the time was done by eye without the use of all the equipment available today. It also reflects where ground levels change so more of the bottom of the building is exposed.
A scale drawing was made showing the measurements taken. The plans drawn by volunteers have been used by the archaeologists as part of the survey report.
Views from inside the Dovecote
You can see the little boxes where the doves would have nested. Eggs would have been collected from these.This is where we get the name pigeon hole from, that describes the small boxes on a shelf, used to separate post within a building.
The archaeologists have summarised their findings about the Dovecote in this document. canons-community-archaeology-dovecote
Geophysical survey of the East Lawn of The Canons
Genevieve Shaw briefed volunteers to help with measuring for the geophysical survey of the lawn. Volunteers marked a grid using pegs and string, and then took turns to operate the geophysicial equipment.
This method uses a resistivity meter, which is a square frame with two or four metal points (electrodes) sticking downwards along the base of the frame. These are inserted into the soil at every half or one metre and a brief pulse of weak electrical current is passed between them; the level of resistance (measured in ohms) is recorded on a data-logger and later a map of the resistance patterns across the survey area is produced.
Buried archaeological features with varying moisture content such as ditches and pits (often higher moisture) and stone walls (often lower moisture) stand out compared to the soil around them – and can therefore be detected in the survey.
The geophysical report has identified two potential stone buildings, and there are plans to hold a further community archaeology event as part of the project once HLF funding is approved.
The archaeologist summarised these findings in this document. canons-community-archaeology-east-lawn
The Canons House – uncovering hidden features
In a room that had been previously damaged by fire wooden panelling was removed to reveal another cupboard.
You could see many layers of paint on the doors of the cupboard.
Tom removed tongue and groove panelling to reveal bannisters that matched the staircase indicating that there would have been a gallery above the staircase.
The archaeologist summarise their findings about the house in this document. canons-community-archaeology-canons-house
Finding out about historical building surveys
Tom Addyman introduced the volunteers to the principles of historical buildings archaeology.
He pointed out changes to the arrangement of windows visible from the outside, and some of the interior features, and gave a talk on the techniques used in historical buildings archaeology.