Today we had two main highlights; Sanchez’s homemade lemonade which provided a much needed afternoon short break and the walls mentioned in yesterday’s update and our tweet this afternoon. The walls we are now seeing were initially picked up in the 2009 trench and the 1987 GGAT ‘castle’ trial trench. From today’s work it seems that we have a cut for a robbed out wall, approximately 1.5m wide running E-W and turning to meet foundation rubble seen in the 1987 trench. The E-W wall runs parallel to the large foundation wall excavated last year and it looks as though there is a clay floor running between the two buildings. This is really exciting as it develops our understanding of a Welsh medieval manor and its associated buildings.
Comparative sites nearby can be seen at Sully, excavated prior to building work from 1963-69, and the large working farm at Old Cogan. The manor at Sully was the administrative centre for the locality and Cosmeston was a sub-manor within this. The excavations here uncovered a manorial centre with hall and other buildings similar to that at Cosmeston. These buildings were situated within a boundary wall with a gatehouse entrance, both of which we don’t have evidence for at Cosmeston. Old Cogan is within a different administrative unit to Cosmeston, but lies only 1 mile away. There is evidence for an associated settlement, as at Cosmeston, but also a mill and parish church. Although these sites provide good evidence of manorial settlement in the Vale, the work being done at Cosmeston has produced a volume of material greater than that found at any other site in the Vale. As a result we will be able to piece together not just the structural remains but also the economic and social relationships of those living in these settlements, as well as diet and everyday functions being played out in medieval south Glamorgan.
The finds tent has seen slow action on the rams head vessel. Sherds from the aquamanile/jug are cropping up in 3 contexts, all of which are associated with the demolition and robbing of the walls of the manorial buildings. So far we have approximately 70% of the rim and at the front of the vessel and body sherds leading down to the shoulder. I spent a painstaking couple of hours trying to find more joins but had to give up to avoid pottery madness. More will be done tomorrow on this and hopefully patience and persistence will win.