Wessex Archaeology -
The general aims and objectives of the excavating the trench were:-
The location selected was immediately south of the tunnel and therefore discovery of any dating
material there should have helped with the first objective. The location was also on a section of the original
route that is believed to have been little disturbed since the route was altered sometime after 1849. It was
hoped a layer of stones might be found with either impressions of where the stone sleepers were located or,
If very lucky, surviving stone sleepers in situ.
The trench was excavated to natural at a depth of between 0.5 and 1m below ground level. The trench
covered an area of 15m2. The topsoil/overburden was removed in a series of level spits down to the level of
The natural geology or the first archaeological horizon, whichever was reached first. Any revealed deposits
were hand cleaned, excavated and recorded in accordance with Wessex Archaeology’s standard guidelines.
It was clear from the excavations that the railway line had been heavily disturbed following its closure as
little archaeological remains survived. A single in situ stone sleeper was uncovered, set into the natural.
The sleeper matched those found within walling associated with the later railway line. An area of weathered
natural was observed to the west of the sleeper, probably representing the path in which the horses pulling the wagons along the plateway would have walked. Little dating evidence was found, save for a few pieces of post-
Excavation of trench south of tunnel commences
Discovery of in situ stone sleeper block
Completed trench excavation
|LIMESTONE QUARRIES & LIMEWORKS|