We were joined by some new volunteers today and so the Malhamdale Sun God looked down on us favourably. After early precipitation the weather improved and eventually the sun came out. Unusually for Malham the atmosphere was humid and uncomfortable with the promise of threatening rain clouds as the afternoon progressed. The work was hard and slow in this weather.
There were a few problems with the Total Station, which died partway through the morning compelling Jeff to return home to sort out the problem. And he did! All was back in working order by the late afternoon.
Progress was made in the nave trench and more of the large stone was revealed. It has not been established as to whether the adjacent line of stones towards the chancel end are tumble or perhaps part of a step or platform.
A burnt-out area began to emerge and initially it seems to resemble the pits where the lead was melted that were discovered on the two previous digs. Few finds appeared in this trench, although there was part of a flint.
The ‘track’ trench was abandoned temporarily yesterday and the Planning was eventually completed this afternoon. The mortared stones at the eastern end are rather puzzling and may be the foundations of a primitive wall structure outside the chapel foundation wall. A test pit is to be dug to see if this will unravel the mystery .
In the new trench on the edge of the precinct the first layer of topsoil was removed. Many hands made hard work. In the sunshine the work was exhausting.
There were a number of small pottery finds; some of the pottery was medieval; other fragments may date from the eighteenth century. There was a small piece of lead which resembled the lead fragments found in the chapel trenches.
At the end of the day the temptation of an ice-cream was too much for some of us. But it had been an exhausting day.