Ken's Bamburgh Journal
Fieldwork 2006

Castle Tour
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This afternoon, directly after lunch as a light rain started, one of the project directors guided us through Bamburgh Castle. Not much of its medieval fabric exists, because over the ages it fell into ruin, and then received extensive conversion into a stately home by Lord Armstrong in the late 1890s. Nevertheless, it offers some early parts of interest, and houses the interesting items found by this project in past years.

For the past two days, I've been assigned to clearing a part of Trench 3 formerly dug by Hope-Taylor. In this case, once we have cleared all his backfill, we will be down on to a "gin gang," which is a medieval or earlier mechanism for making plaster or mortar. Apparently it consisted of some kind of wooden beams with paddles, with oxen or other beasts of burden walking in circles to mix the materials. It's possible that it will date quite early and provide evidence for Anglian use, which would be significant.

Anyway, it's been heavy work for the last two days and probably tomorrow as well. Tonight's the normal bar-b-q, but it takes a while for the charcoal and cooking, so being famished from the hard work, I've had an order of chips from the local cafe. Tonight's also laundry night for me, a point for which I'm sure my colleagues will be grateful. Two days ago I went down to Bamburgh town scored a jar of Colman's mustard, which livens up the otherwise bland cold cut lunches quite a bit. I also tried a bit of Northumberland Garlic cheese, which turned out to be unremarkable.

Pano of flowers near the Bowl Hole

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