This article came from the Chronicle published April 1985. Pages 20-22
BATH. Rescue archaeology may be carried out in the Abbeygate Street and Swallow Street area of Bath where building work is scheduled during 1985. The Bath Archaeological Trust has already carried out some preliminary excavation work on this important site where once stood the Palace of the early medieval bishops of Bath and Wells. It is thought that the remains of substantial masonry buildings of the 12th to 15th centuries which were revealed may have been a more private part of the Bishop’s Palace.
(Book Club Associates).
EAST CHELBOROUGH. An elaborate 18th century burial has been discovered accidently in a field entrance at Stoke Farm, East Chelborough. The brick built tomb was overlaid with ham stone and contained a wooden coffin covered in leather which was ornately decorated. It has been examined by Dorset County Archaeologist, Lawrence Keen, who thought it unlikely that it was the grave of Thomas Hollis who died in 1771 and is recorded as having been buried in a field. This is because of the elaborate nature of the burial.
LEAMINGTON SPA. Amongst the many new discoveries of archaeological sites made during the dry summer of 1984 was an important find by aerial photography a few miles from Leamington Spa. Crop markings have indicated a group of rectangular timber buildings. The largest of these has all the characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon royal hall.
LONDON – PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE. Work is in progress to rebind the original Domesday Book for the sixth time. Conservators at the Public Record Office at Kew have completed repairs to Great Domesday (the first volume) and have begun work on Little Domesday (the second, larger volume).. When the task is complete the Domesday Book will be bound in five new volumes splitting Great Domesday into two and Little Domesday into three volumes. The previous rebinding in 1952 has been criticised for the use of poor quality stiff parchment, rendering the individual folios difficult to read, especially close to the spine. The new binding will permit much easier use by scholars of this prime reference work.
NORTH CADBURY. In early October 1984 a 15th century tomb of the Botreaux family in North Cadbury church was dismantled and removed to Wells for conservation. The tomb chest was rapidly deteriorating due to the action of rising damp and many of tile panels were in a poor state. During the dismantling an exciting discovery was made. The end panel of the tomb chest which had been hidden by the tower wall was found to have considerable original paint remaining, including details of the Heraldry. It is hoped that full details of this interesting conservation project can be given in a later edition of Chronicle.
SOUTH PETHERTON. The second issue of the “Journal of the South Petherton Local History Group”, was published recently. It contains a number of interesting articles including an account of the Charles Tite collection by our committee memeber, reference librarian, Robin Ansell. The new issue is illustrated by sketches of the old South Petherton bridge, the medieval effigies which are built into the modern one, the Mary Rose viewed from the spectators bridge and the Hamstone fireplace at Muchelney Abbey. One slight criticism is that like the first issue it is undated. Copies can be purchased from the Editor, Mr. W.H. Hill, “Crossbrow”, Hele Lane, South Petherton, for 75p.
STUDLAND BAY. The wreck of a 15th century Spanish merchantman discovered in Studland Bay is considered to be the 6th oldest vessel found in British waters. It is claimed to have the most substantial timbers of any early wreck. The find was originally made in January 1984 and since then the Studland Bay Project has been established to investigate and possibly recover. tine wreck. Historically important fragments of Spanish Isabelle Polychrome pottery from c1480 have been recovered from the wreck.
TAUNTON CASTLE MUSEUM. The Somerset County Museum had recently made an important acquisition. It is a late 9th – early 10th century Anglo-Saxon sword, discovered in March 1984 by a workman employed on the Flood Alleviation Scheme at Bruton. The County Museum were unsuccessful in trying to acquire it from the finder and it was auctioned in London. The Purchaser lived overseas and the British Museum and the County Museum managed to prevent an export licence being granted. An appeal successfully raised the £2100 needed to cover the purchase price and the sword is now at Taunton. It is the only sword of the period to have been discovered in the South West of England.
YEOVIL. A memorial plaque to Mr. Charlie Gillard a Yeovil fireman, who was killed whilst “Performing his duty” on 12th April 1941, has been set up near the spot where he died. It can be seen on a wall behind the Library.
YEOVIL LIBRARY. Approval for the new library building – referred to in Secretary’s letter, may offer opportunities for rescue archaeology. The site is close to the centre of the oldest part of the town and might produce interesting evidence, if the foundations of subsequent buildings have not destroyed the earlier features.
CHURCH MONUMENTS SOCIETY VISIT.
The Church Monuments Society are visiting; Somerset and Dorset on the 20th and 21st April 1985. The main party will be based at the Post House, Sherborne and coach trips have been arranged on both days to local churches. On Saturday the tour will cover Sherborne Abbey and churches in Somerset including Limington, Hinton St. George, South Petherton and Brympton D’Evercy. The following day a number of Dorset churches will be visited including Trent, Melbury Sampford, Puddletown and Milton Abbey. By special arrangement with the Church Monument Society, members of the Y.A.L.H.S. are invited to join the tours at a cost of £3.00 per head per day. Anyone wishing to join one or both of the trips should contact Moira Gittos, 4, Linden Rd., Yeovil, Tel. 20112 for further details.