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Agricultural past unearthed during Godolphin House dig

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: July 31, 2013

  • A medieval track way is slowly brought back as volunteers Tracie Haslam, Juliet Lyon, Lucy Osborne and Josiah Haslam work to uncover it, watched by James Gossip, site director, and Siobhan Rescorla, National Trust visitor services officer.

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THE grounds surrounding Godolphin House have been excavated during the past two weeks as part of a festival by the Council of British Archaeology.

The National Trust teamed up with Cornwall Council's Historic Environment Service to conduct, I Dig Godolphin, centred on the orchards which surround the manor house.

A team of archaeologists and volunteers managed to uncover several artefacts of interest, including a bronze age flint tool and pottery dating back to the medieval period.

Horseshoes which were unearthed showed that access for carts carrying cider apples would have come on a track through the orchard.

Siobhan Rescorla, visitor services officer at Godolphin House, said: "It is great for us to be able to learn more about farming here at Godolphin, and that includes cider making. Agriculture is the main industry that links Godolphin's past to its future. We are still farming here today."

The Cider House was once used as a working pottery and upon digging in that area the team found some interesting pieces of 1960s ceramics, still glazed with intricate patterns.

Archaeologists discovered that the orchard area has been cultivated since the earliest phases of Godolphin, with pottery from the 14th to 16th centuries represented in high numbers, incorporated into the soils from the house and farm.

Visitors to Godolphin were able to gain access to the orchard to watch the dig and meet with the archaeologists. Students from Pool Academy attended the site to help with brushing, washing and packing the finds.

Ms Rescorla added: "We've had a great time at the property over the past two weeks, we've answered a lot of questions about Godolphin, and also created many new ones."

Some pieces which were recovered from the dig will be added to the archaeological handling collection at Godolphin House for visitors to enjoy.

The festival by the Council of Archaeology runs every year with the aim of making people aware of preserving heritage.

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