Things got even more interesting in Trench 3 late on Friday afternoon when some of the volunteers uncovered three postholes below the buried soil horizon between the ditch and revetting wall. A further clean-up of the area also uncovered a series of possible stakeholes. These features were excavated and the soil from the postholes sampled. The features are most likely the remains of structures and indicate that there was occupation in this area of the site prior to the digging of the ditch and construction of the bank. A clean-up of the NE end of the trench revealed a series of stones laid down onto the buried soil to form an area of rough paving.
Stakeholes in Trench 3
In Trench 5, three stakeholes were found in the same area as the postholes that were uncovered on Day 6. At the opposite end of the trench (where we thought we might have the start of a ditch) our interpretation has changed. A closer look at the stones filling this area shows them to be both regular in shape and construction, leading us to speculate that they may form some kind of foundation/footing layer for another part of the castle.
Stones in Trench 5
In Trench 4, the week has been spent recording and drawing the final plans and sections.
We would again like to thank all the volunteers who helped out during the excavation, as well as the landowner for facilitating our investigations of the site. Hopefully we can come back to Elagh Castle at another time.
The CAF team will be back excavating in Derry on 9th September- check this blog to keep informed. Volunteering will again be coordinated through NorthWest volunteers: http://www.volunteeringnorthwest.co.uk/