Joining Instructions and Risk Assessment: Wark Castle 2015
Thank you for volunteering to dig at Wark, the geophysics report from 2012 will be available is line from here
as are the blogs from last year’s excavations.
what follows is instructions and details of how the excavations will run.
PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY
The season will be Saturday 18th April - Tuesday 28th April .
THERE WILL BE NO DAY OFF ON SITE WE WILL DIG EVERY DAY LISTED
Ordinary site hours will be 0915 -1645 (though things may run on in the evening for 30 minutes)
If you need to leave early or arrive late that is absolutely fine (just let us know)
Please do not forget to sign in and out each day
Sundays (19th/26th) we will start at 10:30am
Each day there will be a morning tea break (20 mins), lunch (45 mins) and afternoon tea break (20 mins)
The first day, Saturday 18th we will start on site at 10:00 things will be going on before then but no digging will commence until that time when we will have two trenches to deturf before the machine turns up at 1300.
We run an open site - if you are suggesting to friends or family they visit the site we tend to say visitors are very welcome between 10am and 4pm from 19th April (Sunday) to 27th April (Monday)
Things to bring
First and foremost dress warm, it could literally be freezing - it is always easier to cool down (by removing layers) than it is to warm up
Bring waterproofs you do not mind getting dirty
Bring a hat and sun cream/block - you never know the sun may appear
The ONLY piece of equipment you will need to bring (if at all possible) is a 4 inch pointing trowel such as this one (see link)
These can be obtained online or at local hardware stores and should cost no more than £13.00
They can also be found on Amazon for a matter of several pounds though the quality will not be so great.
We will have a FEW spares we can lend but cannot guarantee availability. This will be the one tool you will need on every site you ever work on now and in the future.
Please make sure you have marked your new trowel in some way so you can distinguish it from others.
Gardening gloves - if you have them but we should have plenty of spare pairs however.
Garden kneeler or knee pads - if you have them, again however we should have plenty of spares
Wellies or walking boots, steel toed boots etc are all good for site stout walking shoes will also do.
You will NOT be allowed to dig in bare feet, training shoes/plimsoles, sandals etc
Food and Drink
There will be NO tea making facilities on site
Please bring anything you require in the way of flasks, lunch, snacks etc.
There will be fresh water available for drinking and hand washing.
There is a local shop which does sandwiches etc 3 miles down the road in Cornhill a lot of you will pass this on the way to site in the morning if you are coming from Coldstream or Berwick or the south (A698)
Facilities on site
There will be a portaloo (it should be delivered on Friday this week before we start work)
There will be a tent (for shelter)
There will be hand washing facilities
Park only in the lay-by marked on the attached plan only project vehicles should enter the field we are digging
NO parking (except for site vehicles) on the site itself
Health and Safety
Please read the attached risk assessment (it has changed from last year!)
All new starters will receive a health and safety briefing before starting work on site
Breaches of health and safety protocol may lead to you being asked to cease work and leave the site.
Why are we digging here
Early in March 2014 GUARD Archaeology from Glasgow and Volunteers from the Flodden 1513 project carried out a three day geophysical survey at Wark Castle with a view to identifying targets for excavations at the end of March and in early April. The target of this work was a field to the west of the Castle Motte which shows features very similar to those seen in the field targeted for excavations at Norham Castle in 2013.Wark Castle was for much of its life a typical Norman type Motte and Bailey and in important point of contact for international relations between England and Scotland. Along with Norham the castle was the target of a Scottish siege during the first days of James IV's invasion of England. Little is know about the siege which took place on or around the 22-25 August 1513 other than that the castle fell to Scottish forces. After the Scottish Army was destroyed on Flodden Field the castle was recaptured by the English, and again like Norham was in the following 10 years subject to a redevelopment programme paid for by Henry VIII that saw the motte capped with a new stone artillery tower.
Excavations in 2014 identified a substantial wall that seems to mark a new western extent to the castle. In addition they demonstrated the presence of features and substantial deposits of pottery and artefacts at a depth that is not visible to the geophysical survey.
The aims in 2015 will be to
Open bigger trenches over the wall and structures to allow us to better identify what they are and when they date from
Identify any evidence from the 1513 siege of Wark Castle
Identify The wider extent of the Wark Castle
Identify Features of the refurbishment of the Castle between 1514-1520
If you have any questions please get in touch
Download Risk Assessment as a MS word document (20 kb)
Download Risk Assessment as an Adobe PDF document (105 kb)
Wednesday, 15 April 2015