Newsletter April 2015
Well we have been busy over the last few months, for those of you on our Facebook site you will have been kept up to date with our outside antics, but this is for those of you who are not in receipt of this information. Many of you will know from the Cornishman newspaper that we are presently working on some ruined sites between Lanyon and Little Bosullow, a mix of dwellings and work places related to the mining in the area.The particular ruin we chose to start work on is in the middle of the valley and had no actual description on the tithe map but we were intrigued by a piece of pottery we found lying on the surface close to what we believed to be a culvert. When dated by Anna Tyacke of Truro Museum we were surprised to find it dated between 1400 and 1600! The start of the dig revealed, almost immediately underneath the first piece, two more pieces of glazed stoneware from Lostwithiel, dating around the same time. The original plan was to put in test pits to see what we could find but as we proceeded we started to find stone laid floors which then led to large dressed lintels which sided a large water channel, then we started to find other channels and noticed how the floor was laid in such a way that water would run down and into the lowermost channels.....within several weeks we had cleared the whole work space, so much for the test pits!
Interestingly we found that we were digging through masses of grey and pink clays and slimes which are normally associated with the tin cleaning process and we are confident that this is exactly what this ruin is associated with, though from an earlier period, around the 16th/17th century, why this date? Well we are back to the pottery, we have had a lot of pottery finds dating from this period and found within the clays and granite floor, whereas interestingly, the only 19th century finds were laying within the top layer of vegetation and in a very narrow band, as if thrown after being damaged.
We are pleased that many questions have been answered concerning its use, date etc, and our so-called culvert has now become one of two timber hitches, we have located several culverts for the conduct of water and several points in the floor that were the base points for iron bars, but still the work proceeds as there is a second lower portion to this ruin that we were hoping would confirm many remaining queries but at this time it appears that some of the stone may have been robbed out in later times leaving us with mere hints at what went on....needless to say we are back to clearing this whole floor as well!
It is intended that a presentation shall be made of our findings and theories sometime around April or May at Landithy Hall in Madron and that this shall be followed by a walk to this ruin for further discussion. Keep an eye on the Cornishman for details and our website/Facebook pages.