We are back on Cinder Hill Field for our fourth year investigating the Medieval Iron working site in Holcombe Valley. In 2018 we discovered our well preserved bloomery furnace which carbon dating evidence suggested dated from the late Saxon period (877 - 996AD). In 2019 we uncovered evidence of the primary smithing hearth that dated to the 13th century (1265 - 1303AD) where the blooms of iron produced in the furnace were converted into bars of wrought iron. What is the significance of the difference in dates? Does our furnace really date from the late Saxon period or perhaps the charcoal sample is an example of “old wood” syndrome! In 2021 we uncovered our second furnace on the site which dated to the 14th century. Is the site becoming an iron working complex which spanned several centuries?
What further exciting discoveries will we uncover in 2022?
Follow our excavations by reading our dig diary, updated after every dig day!