Trench Cb was opened in the central area of the Common to explore the westward continuation of the stone wall discovered in 2008. In Cb this wall took the form of a single line of medium-sized stones and was less substantial than the two or three course length revealed in 2008. The line of the wall abruptly changes direction at the western edge of trench Cb, turning southwestwards towards Trench L.
Trench L followed the line of the wall further into the gorse. Lukis in 1841 had indicated that it ended in a pit, and Trench L was located to investigate that feature. The pit proved to have 19th century spade marks around its sides and to have been cut through the line of the wall. The latter continued beyond this disturbed area, crossing a hard sandy surface or floor. Flint flakes, shells, and potsherds were embedded in the surface, and fragments of quern stones were found in the aeolian sand above. Around the edges of the floor (only part of which lay within the area of the trench), crisply defined voids marked the positions of timber posts and planks that had formed the walls of a building. Samples were taken for luminescence dating, and preliminary results suggest a relatively recent (e.g. medieval) date.
Text and photographs copyright Chris Scarre, Department of Archaeology, Durham University.