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HomeGreek PhilosphyAnglo-Saxon Watermill Discovered In Buckinghamshire, UK

Anglo-Saxon Watermill Discovered In Buckinghamshire, UK

Jan Bartek – – Archaeologists excavating at a small web site close to Buckingham report an intriguing discover. According to researchers, that is the previous web site of a watermill with potential late Anglo-Saxon origins, which continued to function till the early nineteenth century.

Brick ground floor. Credit: Cotswold Archaeology

A evaluation of historic information by the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society (BAS), on behalf of HS2, confirmed {that a} mill on the web site was recorded within the Domesday Book (compiled in 1086) as a part of an earlier Anglo-Saxon property. This property developed after the yr 949 to assist the institution of the burh at Buckingham. Historical proof signifies continued exercise on the web site by way of the medieval interval, with the sample of water-management options and meadows remaining unchanged within the panorama, actually from 1638 and doubtless for longer.

The watermill is first depicted on historic maps within the early 17th century and fell into disuse by 1825. The related constructing continued to be occupied into the early 20th century earlier than being pulled down within the Nineteen Forties. Features regarding the watermill, bypass channel, mill race, and outflow pond have been nonetheless extant on web site firstly of the archaeological works.

The earliest exercise recorded on the web site was a doable prehistoric ring ditch. A Mesolithic mace head was recovered from the fill of a post-medieval quarry pit that truncated this ring ditch; the mace head probably originated from a truncated deposit inside to the putative ring ditch.

Anglo-Saxon Watermill Discovered In Buckinghamshire, UK

Mill race partitions. Credit: Cotswold Archaeology

The artifactual assemblage recovered from the location reveals that exercise regarding the watermill began within the thirteenth century and continued to the trendy interval. The earliest structural proof recorded on web site comprised the partially uncovered stays of three timber beams set in a considerable clay packing deposit, probably forming the nook of a timber construction. The location of the timber beams, instantly north of the mill race and the outflow pond, means that they could characterize the western finish of a watermill construction, by way of which the watermill’s drive mechanism would connect with the waterwheel. A single sherd of the post-medieval interval was recovered from the clay packing, tentatively relationship this construction to the Sixteenth-Seventeenth century.

Anglo-Saxon Watermill Discovered In Buckinghamshire, UK

Mace head. Credit: Cotswold Archaeology

The closing section of mill buildings was constructed within the late post-medieval interval and continues to be extent on web site. The mill race partitions have been substantial buildings designed to funnel water to the mill wheel; this was most likely positioned beneath the current farm monitor, which was not excavated as a part of the works. The peak of the partitions and the huge funnel counsel the potential for a big quantity of water to be flowing; nonetheless, the surviving mill race has a really light gradient, probably because of fashionable administration of the ditch following the mill’s disuse.

Anglo-Saxon Watermill Discovered In Buckinghamshire, UK

Timber beam. Credit: Cotswold Archaeology

The surviving stays of an related constructing have been current, albeit closely truncated by the demolition and leveling of the location within the Nineteen Forties. The stays of two rooms survived centrally to the constructing plot, which was recognized on historic mapping. The room partitions have been constructed predominantly with stone. A collection of postholes fashioned an inside partition throughout the northern room, which enclosed a stone rubble floor. A brick ground floor survived within the southern room, which (together with materials recovered from the partitions) dated to the 18th century onwards.

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No proof of the Anglo-Saxon watermill recorded within the Domesday Book was recognized. Despite the intensive use of the location from the medieval interval onwards, it’s unlikely that each one artifacts and options related to an earlier watermill would have been eliminated, indicating that the Anglo-Saxon watermill was sited elsewhere.

Written by Jan Bartek – Staff Writer


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