A first glimpse into what lies under part of Vicars Court & The Orchard land south east of the Minster was given at a public meeting on 19th April 2018. This Heritage Lottery funded project, being undertaken by Southwell Community Archaeology Group, will, it is expected, fill in some of the gaps in our understanding of the Roman villa site. As part of the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, there are restrictions on excavation. However, the support and agreement of The Very Reverend Nicola Sullivan, Dean of Southwell Minster, and the other residents of Vicars’ Court and Southwell Town Council, has enabled the use of innovative methods to explore some of the “unknowns”.
At the meeting Adam Clark of SUMO, the projects professional contractors, outlined the initial results of the Ground Penetrating Radar survey. Utkarsh Singh of Nottingham Trent University explained his ground-breaking use of Ortho Thermal Imaging to reveal features below ground and Professor Will Bowden the University of Nottingham and Emily Gillott Community Archaeologist Notts CC put this nationally important site into context and responded to interesting questions put by members of the public.
The surveys reveal lines, right-angled corners and arcs of hard material, extending to various depths. These anomalies could be of stone and be parts of buildings such as walls but at this stage there is no way to confirm such interpretations. However, there is a high degree of alignment with the previous findings from excavations of the known Roman villa and some Anglo-Saxon features.
The next stage of the project, which starts on the 30th April for a week, is to excavate two anomalous mounds on site together with associated post excavation work.
Categories: Vicars Court Project