Monday 2nd March
An excellent day yesterday at Cammo in the west room of the cottages. We relocated a lot of large stones etc and cleared a further section of the collapsed gable end and overburden to reveal more flagstone floor. Pottery was more prevalent, mostly stoneware, with a few pieces of window and bottle glass and some bone. A quantity of zinc sheeting, some of it wrapped round wooden spars was found, possibly from the ridge of the roof.
Undoubted star find by Norma was a clay tobacco pipe bowl and partial stem with a football-related theme. We exposed some of the west room fireplace which included an inset metal rail with a swivelling bracket which would have held an extension arm to swing pots or kettles over the open fire.
3 metal hooks were also found. We were able to partly reconstruct part of one side of the fire surround stonework. After last week’s weather it was good to get back in action again with very positive results.
This week was mainly involved with continuing the excavation of the fireplace in the west room. A small section of wood panel with nails still in place was located just to the right of the fireplace. Among the finds were a single cast iron fire or range grate or grille bar, and some bird bones, possibly Jackdaw? (from a nest in the chimney?)
A few pieces of the chimney wall structure were noted, some with soot or burning evident. We also recovered more pottery including some cream ware and a rodent skull. A frogged brick with an “AP” mark was also found as well as more nails and zinc sheeting.
Another week should see the completion of the west fireplace
At last the weather has relented a bit and we were able to make some good progress. We have now cleared the fireplace in the West room down to the level of the flagstone floor (see main featured photo). It would seem that there had been a cooking range but very few parts of it had survived, so it may have been removed when the cottages were abandoned. There appeared to be traces of wood panelling on one adjacent wall as well as a small area of plaster surface.
In the surrounding area we found a complete clay pipe bowl which appeared to have a very small depiction of a head wearing a wig.
We also found a half of a decorated bone knife handle along with the usual ceramics, glass and nails.
We have more information on the “PG” stamped bricks we have been finding recently. They were produced at Preston Grange brickworks in East Lothian, so are reasonably local.
Monday 23rd March
The End of Excavation for the present
We were due to resume at Cammo on Monday 23rd March but this was cancelled because of the necessity for social distancing due to the spread of Covid19. No excavation has been possible since then but as soon as it is permitted and safe to continue, we will be back!