Previous relationships were rekindled.
After last year's excavations at the furnace site we were keen to learn more about the different parts of the complex. Not only does this help us understand more about the operation of the ironworks, but it will also give us a good idea of how well preserved it is and how to tackle future conservation and interpretation.
As usual, the quality and quantity of the work undertaken has exceeded all expectations. Here is Trench 5 at 10.00 this morning...
... and here it is just after lunch!
What's more, we have made two extremely important discoveries today.
Firstly, we have explored some of the mysterious 'humps and bumps' in the woodland between the chimney and the furnaces which we excavated last year. We know that this area must contain the boiler house, engine house and blowing apparatus (as well as the refinery and perhaps the earliest hot air ovens in the world). However because there is no plan of the site, we have no idea where all the various components are.
Today the team uncovered two substantial brick walls, which seem to be part of the interior of the engine house. Hopefully tomorrow we will learn more about the internal arrangement of this important building.
Our trench here showed that they had been demolished and at least partly concreted over during the 'Stirchley Chemical Works' phase of the site - but the stonework below the concrete was identical to that of the furnaces we excavated last year. It's early days, but it looks like we have found the other furnaces!
More work tomorrow!
More information about previous work on this site.
Information about all of the archaeology we have done in Telford Town Park.