Tuesday 23rd July, 2013
Well, another busy day on site! This time, however, it was a day busily protecting parts of the site from the rain!!! The aim of the day was to lift the lid on the stone coffin to remove the burial within. However with a storm looming over head and the ground still wet from heavy rain overnight, this was going to be a bit more tricky. Gently lifting the lid of the coffin with mattocks’, the team was able to slip through harnesses under the lid. Then with nine strong volunteers the hefty lid was lifted (see the photo’s below). What was revealed was a lead coffin in good condition, except for a decayed section at the bottom revealing the skeleton’s feet.
Then the heavens opened and a large thunder-storm interrupted at a crucial moment! Fortunately the team were able to cover the grave with a gazebo to stop the water getting into the coffin. Unfortunately this was not true for the rest of the site as the trench quickly resembled a swimming pool! When the rain stopped we set about mopping up the puddles with sponges, unfortunately the area I was working on yesterday was too wet, so as a result I set about work elsewhere. We opened a new section to see if we could pick up a robber trench, that hopefully would show the line of the North wall of the church. Despite the ground being softened by the rain, this was tough going as there were lots of heavy granite and sandstone left roughly discarded in the past.
In addition to the excitement of lifting the lid on the stone coffin, we also had a production company on site taking photo’s for Channel 4 amongst other things.
Hopefully the ground will start to dry out overnight and I will be able to get back to my small section to investigate exactly what is going on!