This article came from the Chronicle published April 1984. Page 75
1983/84 NEWS ROUNDUP
GLOUCESTER CASTLE. Excavation of a pit in Gloucester ‘Castle has produced a set of pieces for the game of “Tables”. The game was a precursor of backgammon and seems to have been developed in Roman times. The men were found below layers containing llth and 12th C pottery, are ‘romanesque’ in style. The full complement of 30 countrys was discovered. Made of bone, they have been finely carved into a variety of designs including an archer, a seated rebec player, a jugglar and a centaur. Whilst 15 of the set were left plain the others were painted or dyed, to represent the opposition. Pieces of carved bone which had been inlaid into a wooden board were also recovered, These exciting finds are believed to be unique in British Archaeology.
Source: Daily Telegraph 4.1.84
SEDGEMOOR. Plans are being made by the Somerset Tourist Office for a programme of events and exhibitions to celebrate the tercentenary of the Monmouth Rebellion, in 1985. The Battle of Sedgemoor took place on July 6th 1685. The Tourist Office have christened the rising “The Pitchfork Rebellion”. Further information will be given as it, becomes available.
SHAFTESBURY. In late October a section of a Saxon cross shaft was discovered in Shaftesbury. It was found on a pile of rubble but undoubtedly originated from the Saxon Abbey. A full report is published here.
TARRANT HINTON, DORSET. A Roman water pump has been discovered in a deep well on the villa site at Tarrant Hinton, The pump consists of two lead cylinders with pistons set within a wooden block measuring 25″ long 18½” wide and 11½” thick, it is believed to be only the second example discovered in Britain and more complete than the other example, from Silchester. It dates from the mid. 4th C and was probably used at ground level, to distribute water around the villa. The pump is being conserved at Dorchester Museum where it will probably go on display next year.
Source: Daily Telegraph December 83.
YEOVIL: PENN HILL. There has been much recent coverage by the local press concerning the Yeovil District Council’s plan to sell off part of its Penn Hill nursery for private housing development. If such a scheme did go ahead it may have important archaeological implications because of the prominent position of Pen Hill in the town centre coupled with the fact that medieval pottery is commonly found on the hill.
YEOVIL: QUEDAM DEVELOPMENT. During digging of foundations for the new Quedam development in the town centre, there has been almost no opportunity for archaeological investigation. However, the chance discovery of a human skeleton on the site of the Unitarian Chapel did involve several members of the Society and Mr.Hayward has reported here.
YEOVIL: ST JOHNS. Steps have been taken to preserve the medieval grave slab discovered built into the parapet of St.Johns Church during the current restoration work. The slab is not complete but bears an incised cross of 13th C date and some interesting graffiti. It lay on a bench in the porch, following its discovery and more recently has been out in the churchyard. However, after some preliminary clearing it was placed in the south transept of St.Johns on 25th February.1984. Preb.Blake, Rector of St.Johns assisted with the placing of the stone in the church and is keen to see it properly displayed in due course.