One of the main features in the new area was another Roman timber well. You may remember the excavation of the last timber well over a year ago, in which we found a lovely collection of metal objects.
This well is of the same construction: timber planks around the outside linked together at the corners with dovetail joints. This square well was built within a deep cut extending into the London Clay. The construction cut was then packed around the timber with further clay.
We initially found the well last year whilst excavating a watching brief hole for a pile location (the pile has since been placed in the ground). We found the timber planks of the north edge of the well. Unfortunately, after the pile hole had been back filled and re-excavated the boards on the northern face were lost; luckily the fill was still intact. We were hoping the well would be complete, however it became apparent whilst machining we were out of luck. Not more than a foot behind the northern face was a 1950’s concrete pile cap. This had removed almost the entire well.
With the minimal amount of well left, this meant our approach to excavation was different from others. Instead of digging it from the top, we excavated from the side. We drew a profile and plan of what was left of the well, and then removed the fills and the timbers.
The planks from this well were damaged and split when we tried to remove them, limiting their potential for dendrochronological dating. They will still be sent back to the office for a closer look though.
Watch Jason and Karl excavate the well here:
We had a number of finds from the well; a whole shattered glass vessel and a complete samian bowl were the two star finds.