Update 31 May 2015
A geophysical survey of a site on the Linney has failed to find evidence of a suspected kiln. Last November, archaeologists dug trial trenches and found medieval remains (see below). Some of the pottery sherds were ill-formed, possibly wasters from a kiln. County archaeologists asked for a geophysical survey using twin-magnetometers (known as a gradiometer). This arrangement is ideal for picking up evidence of burning The archaeologists found some evidence of activity on the site but no clear indication of a kiln.
As a former archaeologist, I was really excited to find an archaeologist hard at work on the Linney a week or so ago.
Archaeological digs aren’t as public as they were when I was young. But then I was government funded (with in-kind private sponsorship). Now, as in this case, digs are funded by developers. They tend to be minimalist and private affairs, though the results are always public. This dig was sponsored by McCartneys who have planning application in for two houses on the site. The commencement of archaeology doesn’t mean that permission will be granted for this site. It is simply the developer wanting to get ahead of the game and begin building quickly should permission be granted.
Sneaking on to the site, there was clear evidence of medieval walls – I guess these are tenements along the Linney. This trial dig shows there is substantial archaeological potential on this site.
I am opposed to this development and I have asked for it to be called in to the South Planning Committee if officers are minded to approve it. But if it does go ahead, there must be full excavation of the site, not just where the house foundations will go. We are a heritage town and we must demand the highest standards for any development in our archaeologically sensitive landscape.