An aerial photograph of the Common in 1997, showing the smaller enclosure surviving as an earthwork, and the larger enclosure and palaeochannel as soil marks. This was the last time the site was extensively ploughed.
An close-up of the two enclosures, also taken in 1997. Note the line across the palaeochannel (this, we found out in 1998, was the causeway linking the two enclosures) and the entrance to the larger enclosure, which was excavated in 1999.
An aerial photograph of the 1999 excavations in progress. That year's work included a 5% assessment of the interior of the larger enclosure and excavation of the main entranceway. Previously, it had been thought that farming had destroyed most if not all archaeology within the larger enclosure, but we confirmed the existence of a number of features, albeit in relative poor state of preservation.
A view from the 'cherrypicker' of the excavations of the main entranceway to the larger enclosure, looking westwards over the palaeochannel and the smaller enclosure. The entranceway is in the left corner in the foreground.
Another view from the 'cherrypicker' of the entranceway, this time looking east from the palaeochannel. The entranceway included this 'portal' of 4 x 7 m, with large oak timbers on the corners and smaller timbers used to create walls. This spread of limestones in the foreground appear to have been dumped there at the time the enclosure was abandoned - an example of symbolic destruction?
James Cheetham, excavating one of the large corner posts of the 'portal'.
The excavated cornerpost of the 'portal'. This photo illustrates the principle problem here: whilst organic remains such as wood still survive, after 20 years of drainage here, these are in a poor state of preservation. This post has rotted inside out. If we wouldn't excavate the site now, most timbers would be lost in 10 years.
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