Archaeology Report for 2002

The section began the year with a trip to Randalls Brewery at Vauxlaurens, an interesting building in its own rights, besides a chance to sample a distinctive pint of Guernsey culture – “Patois” real ale!

Roman specialist Dr Hilary Cool came to deliver a lecture on the Roman cemetery at Brougham in Cumbria, showing how artifactual evidence threw light on the Hungarian military unit which found itself stationed there. The following day, Hilary led a seminar on glass, concentrating on the Roman period, where we had a chance to handle material.

A weekend trip to Alderney was held in June where we were warmly welcomed by our colleagues in that island. We were shown around Fort Albert and Fort Tourgis - both sadly neglected and ruinous. The Elizabethan shipwreck exhibition in the museum and the working displays of the Alderney Maritime Trust "shed" also occupied our attention. A gloriously sunny afternoon was spent rambling through brambles to find the old water mill, now in the process of renovation. A beach walk to look for the postulated Roman harbour at Longis was followed by a chance to see inside the "Nunnery" and evidence of its German and possibly Roman occupation.

David Thornburrow explains the work going into restoring Alderney’s water wheel.
The Section is shown around the ramparts of Fort Albert

In the autumn, we were allowed inside Fort Richmond for a look around this fascinating building – everything from 19th century gun batteries, nazi bunkers to 70's disco lights. The Section made contributions to the discussions on the fate of the prison and the markets.

Section members outside Fort Richmond
The 1970’s disco down in the cellars

Section also members participated in a variety of excavations during the year. The excavation on Lihou island was an enjoyable away-from-it-all paradise of dust, dirt, granite and flints! Not only did we work on the priory this year, but also assisted Tim-Schadla Halls’ excavation of a Mesolithic flint-working site, discovered by Dave Lane. Work was also renewed in Roman levels in the Bonded Store and on Prehistoric levels being uncovered at 1-2 Canichers in St Peter Port. A diversion of the road to the north of the airport prompted an emergency excavation that yielded evidence of prehistoric occupation. Members were concerned over the lack of consultation and notice given to archaeologists by the State’s departments involved. Outline reports on all these sites should be in the next Societe Transactions.

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Candie Gardens, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 1UG, Channel Islands.