On a fine, sunny Saturday morning, a number of TARG members gathered at Tadsor, off Coal Lane, for a field walking session. It didn’t take long to set up 8 lanes, each with 4 stints. The ground was so hard we could hardly get the poles and canes in – we really do need some rain.
The weather was perfect and the setting glorious, with panoramic views towards Calke, and Breedon Hill with its church, way over on the horizon. The old stone barn down the hill was mellow in the sunshine, and there were bluebells and stitchwort in the hedgerows.
We found a wide variety of pot sherds but were only picking up rims, bases, handles etc. (we’d walked this area before so knew there is a lot of pot there). It was noticeable that there was more lower down the hill, and towards the middle of the field. Several people found possible worked flints.
We finished at about 12:30, and having retrieved the poles, flags, measuring wheels etc. and loaded them into Sue’s car, we all headed for home with our finds to wash, ready for a sorting session in the Village Hall.
I took advantage of the fine weather to get my finds washed and dried over the weekend. I’d got examples of blackware, brown glazed earthenware, a few yellow fragments, very little Midlands Purple, part of a small Cistercian base and a few handles and a small piece of decorated mottled ware. Lovely colours. Whenever I’m ‘pot washing’ I’m always struck by the variety of colours and textures, much of which results from conditions in the kiln – bubbly, purple glaze, rich oranges, pale yellow and greens etc.
As well as the pot I’d got a clay pipe bowl and a few bits of stem, several fragments of very thin old glass.
My star find was the neck of a costrel. I wonder if it was from the pottery or if someone had taken it with them into the field when they went to work?