Potential Field Projects
POTENTIAL NEHAS PROJECTS
The following projects are posted, others will follow. People wishing to join project teams, Email me using the Email Form and their names will be added. When a quorum is reached a project can go ahead. Likewise when anyone wishes to propose a project send details and it will be posted.
Cheriton Battle Field
Contemporary accounts have the Royalist army coming from Arlesford, and occupying a northern ridge to the east of Cheriton. The Parliamentarians occupied a ridge to their south. There are however five ridges to the east of Cheriton, and its not known which combination of ridges the battle was fought over. This gives four different theories for where the battle was fought. For a degree dissertation, a field up the most northern ridge was surveyed by a metal detector, and all find dug up. It was found that there were lines of musket ball up this ridge, 1/3 of them had not been fired. These were thus firing lines which also receive fire (balls which were dropped on loading were not recovered).
We can use our detector, and do sample surveys, possible as few as three traverses up and down each ridge. Lead discriminates at DISC 8. Only Gold, Copper, Aluminium, Silver, Brass, Cupro-Nichol discriminate at higher DISC settings. Thus if DISC is set to give a good Lead signal in earth - probably around 7 - then there would not normally be many signals at DISC 7, and a field with a lot of musket balls is likely to look very different than one without - we may also see the firing lines. No metal finds will be dug up, we will rely on most signals at DISC 7 if there are a lot being Lead. We can also experiment with the size of signal expected - we found a musket ball at UF09. Fields which have few DISC 7 signals compared with those having a lot will thus not have been involved with the battle, and we may be able to eliminate some of the four theories. Another metal detector may be able to be pressed into service, and the project members could also form a field walking line to recover surface finds. The same array would have to be used on all fields. There are options of doing more detailed surveys on some fields.
[On a field visit it was found that lead musket balls discriminated in earth around 6, which is liable to be interfered with by iron. More advanced equipment has been obtained which discriminates between lead and iron - but not between higher disciminating metals. Thus both detectors will be used. Our original detector will be set at DISC 8, which should give no signal to lead - if it does the signal from the advance detector will be rejected as not lead]
HFC had a visit to the battle field in 2009, and the expert leading it will be involved.
Richard Whaley, Richard Alexander (Project Leader), Kerry Bates (Deputy), Jerry Revell, Mark Staplehurst, Senen Henessy, Paul Hayes, Clare Cutler
Roman Road Winchester - Chichester
The Ropley Group led by Donald Ashdown was responsible for finding the ground evidence for the Roman estate or Centuriation around the Road from London to Winchester, east of Winchester. In the process Donald reckons there is a direct Roman Road from Winchester to Chichester, and furthermore that the Antonini Itinerary VII refers to this Road with better matching of distances. The Road climbs to high ground at Beacon Hill, before being forced down in the valley of the river Mean at Exton, climbs to high ground around Winchester Hill and stays on high ground to Chichester. I have seen the decent to Exton, with 1000' of stranded ledge going in straight lengths, with a modern lane in a deep hollow way below it, and judge this to be Roman. Remains below Winchester hill are apparent. Donald has surveyed the route to Chichester at 1:25k in outline. The intention is to follow the procedure for the London Winchester Road - survey at 1:10560, locate excavations sites, and prove by excavation up to the county boundary. It is intended to form a Web archive of results, from which rapid publications can be produced in both digital and paper form. Some experiments to this end are being undertaken.
Donald Ashdown, Richard Whaley, Jerry Revell (Project Leader), Paul Hayes, Richard Alexander
Roman Road Dorchester - Exeter
The Dorset Road Group sought our help as a result of Roman Road Abstracts mentioning a Roman Road I found as a young man in Dorset which has not been written up. This I reckon is the main Roman Road to Exeter from Dorchester to Axminister, does not follow Margary's routes in Roman Roads in Britain, and is where I learnt how to recognise them in hilly country. The Dorset Group wanted to firm up the route from Eggardon Camp near Dorchester, where the Road leaves high ground for the difficult country of Bridport and Charmouth. I assessed Margary's remains on this route, and was able to related them to a recent excavation, and show this was a Roman route, though I do not think it is the main road to Exeter. Our report is on their website. The Dorset Group has located some parts my main route to Exeter, and so this raises a potential project to map, publish and excavate the whole route from Eggardon to Axminister where it broadly stays on high ground. This will not be as difficult as the minor Roads we investigating in Hants. The remains are massive, in fact so large that people don't see them. Nearly all are on modern routes, minor lanes, cart tracks or occasional footpaths. This removes all the mapping and map error problems we have faced.
Richard Whaley (Project Leader), Richard Alexander, Jerry Revell, Paul Hayes, Clare Cutler, with the Dorset Road Group
Roman Estate in Kent
John Peterson's Website at the University of East Anglia shows large areas of the country with remains of likely Roman field systems. One large area is in Kent, which stretches from the outskirts of London to the coast, and as far west as Ripe, where Margary picked up such a possible Roman Road and field system in the 1930s. The origin of the Kent system is the Roman Road out of Canterbury towards Dover. John Peterson's method involves scanning maps and computer processing the boundaries using fourier analysis. At a Framework Seminar for the SE I mentioned this Kent system, but the Roman people there said they could not find it. So I tried our boundary analysis from 6" maps, and found massive statistical significance in 2 out of 3 places we sampled. This has been submitted to the CBA SE Newsletter. Jeremy Sexton has started doing such analysis for some coastal regions. Others could pick areas, perhaps local to them, and we could gradually build up a picture of where this Roman estate occurred.
Richard Whaley, Jeremy Sexton, Dick Francis, John Peterson, Paul Hayes; Clare Cutler
Recording condition, type, and position for National Database. Best approach likely to be defining an area around volunteers for the project.
Richard Alexander (Project Leader), Jan Blatchford, Kerry Bates, Clare Cutler
Mediaeval Roads around Titchfield Abbey
Jerry has itineraries of routes in use at one time - places and distances from the Abbey. The object would be to find the course of these roads. Mediaeval roads are very difficult to find as there was generally no engineering work on them, and nothing remains if the route has fallen out of use and field systems which would have followed it have been removed. Roman Road methods of finding sections of modern roads, tracks, foot paths and field boundaries from the earliest maps could be employed. Research could be mounted on any known route to see if air photo evidence occurs across modern open fields. Finding all the places named in the itineraries is also likely to be the first challenge.
Jerry Revell, Paul Hayes, Clare Cutler
Caesars Camp, Nr Farnham
Produce a complete history and survey of this Iron Age Hill Fort. Some Mediaeval findings occur in our Crondall Boundary study, NEHHAS Jn Vol 2, which gives reference to an excavation done across ramparts. This indicated that what is now mainly visible is a Mediaeval deer park boundary - which ties in with the Crondall Boundary findings.
Jan Blatchford (Project Leader), Richard Alexander, Kerry Bates, Paul Hayes, Clare Cutler