Excavations at Flodden 2011

Dates – September 10th to September 25th (Saturday to Sunday)
19th September (Monday) - will be a day off.
Travel and accommodation – The site is very close to Milfield (just north of Wooler and off
the A697. There is BandB accommodation in Milfield, Branxton and Cornhill as well as
further afield in places such as Coldstream, Berwick and Wooler
Parking – parking should be in the red area at the north end of the track to the site (see the
plan attached). There is space inside the gate to the field (three fields west of the (derelict)
cottages known as the Bondagers Cottages and opposite the road end to Callerburn Farm.
Park in the field to the left of the gate and ensure that the track and road is not blocked or
Walk to site – the walk to site takes about 10-15 minutes from the parking area (see the
plan attached). Follow the track up hill (to the south) passed the stand of trees and across
the cropped wheat field to the ridge.
Saturday 10th September – work will begin on site at 1300 on the first Saturday (10th
September)– this is to allow us the time to get tools to the site and lay out trenches.
Starts and finishes – We will start on site at 9:30 in the morning and work through to 16:30
in the afternoon – there will be the usual AM and PM tea breaks and 45 minutes for lunch in
the middle of the day. On Sundays we will start at 10:00am. Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be
provided on a daily basis for those who want them – there will be a small charge.
Day Off – The middle Monday of the dig will be a day off (Monday 19th September). There
will be no work on site that day.
Visitors – the site will be ‘open’ for visitors between 1000-1600 from 11th to 24th September.
The exception to this will be 19th September (Monday) which is a day off for diggers. We
would ask visitors to avoid the 10th September (Saturday) when we will be setting up and
25th September (Sunday) when we will be back filling.
Intentions – Following last September’s excavations (2010) the intention this year is to
return to Site 2 on the north face of the ridge between Flodden Hill and the Kings Chair Hill
to further examine the enclosure identified last year. Excavations in 2011 will be targeted at
points on the site where the geophysical survey carried out in 2010 suggests earlier
elements of the site (possibly Iron Age) are overlain by later elements of the site (possibly
from 1513).
Initially activities will be concentrated in two areas, over the possible roundhouse located to
the west of the stone cobbled platforms excavated last year to understand the stratagraphic
relationship between this feature and the platforms. It is important to characterise this
feature, recover dating evidence and understand whether it is contemporary to the cobbled
platforms or earlier/later than them.
The second area of interest is the point at the NE corner of the enclosure where the most
northerly of the three trenches investigated last year on the east site of the enclosure,
crosses the slope and appears (on the geophysical survey) to meet the enclosure’s outer
ditch/bank. Again, understanding the relationship between these two sets of features will
help us to better understand which features were constructed when and what their purpose
In addition to these two trenches we are considering further excavations over the pit
alignment, started in 2010. The primary aim here would be to further characterise the
relationships between the hearths discovered in the tops of the pits and the pits themselves,
while at the same time hopefully recovering more samples for dating purposes. Finally we
may (if we have time) also choose to investigate a small round feature on the south side of
the enclosure that shows faintly on the 2007 aerial photographs and more strongly on last
year’s geophysical survey. This feature has been targeted due to its strength on both
surveys, and the possibility that it too may offer additional dating evidence to one or both
potential phases of use of the site.
Kit – thanks to NAG and TillVAS all digging kit will be provided with the exception of
personal trowels (ie a 4” pointing trowel or similar – best obtained from Pasthorizons
Website or the tool store in the Granger Market, Newcastle) You should come prepared for
dirty work with boots or stout shoes and bring water proofs and warm clothes as. The site is
in the open on the crest of a north facing field so you should also come prepared for the sun
(sun cream and sun hats etc).
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