Our Recent Digs – Lavender Farm, Pickstock

Dig planned at farm in hunt for clues to medieval village.

Archaeological digs will take place at a farm near Newport in an attempt to unearth evidence that it was once the centre of a medieval village.

And their interest was roused further when a quick look round the site revealed a knapped flint, possibly from Neolithic period, and a 17th century  clay pipe bowl. Robin Spencer owns the farm with his wife, Joanna, and grows lavender. He said: “Julian Meeson of Newport History Society had a stand at the Chetwynd Medieval Pair at the weekend. While he was there he conducted a short, prelimi­nary site survey because he has a hunch that the farm­house area could be the site of ancient settlements, due to the lie of the land. On Sunday whilst doing a short, half-hour surface walk and inspection survey he found a 17th century clay pipe bowl in very good condition sitting in the middle of upturned soil in one of the vegetable patches. “The pipe maker’s mark is clearly visible on the underside of the pipe bowl and once it is properly cleaned up he hopes to be able to identify who made it and where the pipe maker was located. Even more exciting was the discovery of a knapped flint, probably Neolithic, possibly earlier.”
The history society is now planning a larger scale exploratory dig at the farm on July 21 from 9.30am to 2 pm. The two artefacts already found will be on dis­play as well other historical items.
Members of the public are being invited to visit and look at the site for themselves during the dig.
Mr. Meeson said: “Where Wellbank Farm is situated is where the village in mediaeval times might have been but we don’t have any maps of the area from that time.”

Courtesy of the Newport Advertiser, July 12th