Nick and I were down the site today – phew, hot. As luck would have it, some contractors were digging up the road by the Saxon right flank in Station Rd and piling the dirt up, so we had a bit of a shufty through it with the detector and pointers. Nick’s taken home a huge chunk of Sussex with something in it….
We spent most of the day surveying the whole of the first defence line with the rods and what we found surprised us. Last week while walking the headland, we came upon a 30-yard-wide debris field on the Saxon left. We can now confirm that this is matched in the Saxon centre and right – the area is literally littered with iron and it’s 8+ inches down.
So the options are:
1) either someone’s gone to a lot of trouble to drop ball-bearings everywhere.
2) There’s small bits of iron slag or farm debris EVERYWHERE
3) the option that all of us want.
Nick and I agree that a formal survey of this whole area is really now overdue. The sources remark that the battle started with an intense exchange of missiles, which would have included arrows, javelins, pig-sticks, crossbow bolts and other miscellaneous iron/iron-carbonised projectiles.
The usual iron bits but this time heavily accreted ( a word not in spellcheck:) suggesting they are much older than much of the stuff we have been recently finding.
Not your usual travelling companion – back to the shed for inspection.
Its from the clay line where it meets the upper soil – which is solid with stones in a concrete like mass from under the road opposite the church Would never normally be able to get there. Consequently Mr Footwell is spending the night in a bucket of water hopefully to soften him up to see if its got anything man made in it or if it is naturally occurring iron.