leighandgill

Archaeology in East Oxford

Archive for the tag “bartlemas”

Outreach and An Alternative View

A very busy day, last Sunday.

We were up nice and early, to get to Oxford Castle where they were holding an event to tie in with the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology . We had a stall there and we wanted to get there early as I was taking down an enlargement of the plan of the trench we dug around Bartlemas Chapel – it has proved to be a good starting point for conversations in the past.

When we arrived, there was, of course, no room on the table for it (it’s mounted on an A0 size sheet of card) so it got stuck on the front of the stall. We then spent the rest of the day frantically trying to stop everything blowing away; note to self – always bring industrial amounts of bluetack to all outdoor events!

Laying out all our stuff on the stall

Laying out all our stuff on the stall, Jo is mounting the plan we brought along on the right of stall.

The day went pretty well, though a lot of the passers-by were coachloads of tourists with seemingly no English, so little chance of meaningful outreach opportunities there. There were a couple of sessions of talks, the first with Peter talking about the work our Place Names group is doing, and Jo giving an overview of the project’s work this year. They were followed by David Radford, the City Archaeologist, describing burial practices in Oxford through the ages. Sounded like good stuff, but I drew the short straw and had to man the stall. A pity, but as the air-con was out, perhaps not much of a hardship!

Chatted with quite a few people, including most of the re-enactors present, it seemed, and Gill got some useful hints about where to go for more information about medieval Psalteries – they are a family of flat stringed instruments. Gill got interested when it turned out that one of the Small Finds at Minchery was a tuning peg from a psaltery, so she is doing some background research – watch this space. We stayed until just after 3 then made our way home to grab a bite to eat before the real highlight of the day.

Matrix

Part of the brief given to the project from the outset was to involve as many different people as possible, to make it inclusive and bring different viewpoints to bear on the core job of archaeology. We have had several artists on board but Lucy Steggals, Filipe Sousa and Tara Franks decided on a slightly different tack to express what they thought about the project.

They had come along to a number of events, the last time – an inking workshop – they brought along a couple of tape recorders and did a series of interviews. What had stuck in their minds (and gave the show the title) was the idea of the matrix; both the Harris matrix, where one uses a matrix to sort out the temporal sequence of contexts in a trench, and the matrix of squares you get in a drawing grid.

A drawing grid, with one of the cubes.

A drawing grid, with one of the cubes.

They then went through the recordings, selecting their favourite 25 words each (the squares in the drawing grid) and used them as a basis for editing the recordings, which they had playing on loops on headphones in the garden.

Go on, they don't bite!

Go on, they don’t bite!

As you can see, the cubes had the selected words on their sides – there were a lot more in the barn itself.  One of our favourite words was ~ish (as in early~ish, Roman~ish).  It gets used particularly on big digs before any clear pattern emerges.

The pile of cubes in the barn. Refreshments were provided.

The pile of cubes in the barn. Refreshments were provided.

In the barn, there was a video being projected as a loop, with a recording playing and Tara accompanying on a cello – a bit I particularly liked, a rather ECM~ish (that word again) sound.

The inside of the barn, with the video being projected.

The inside of the barn, with the video being projected.

The cubes had various images which Lucy had edited out of the photos she had been taking when they had visited us, as well as the words they had extracted from the interviews. We could wander around and get different views of the projection.

Projection

Filipe, one of the creators.

Filipe, one of the creators.

We were invited to play around with the cubes, rearranging them as we saw fit, a task which some of us took to with enthusiasm.

Deconstructing the cubes!

Deconstructing the cubes!

I can’t really do justice to what was a visual, audio and (see above) tactile experience; as they say, you had to be there. It made for a great evening, and was fascinating to get an idea of how what we are doing can inspire other people to come up with a new insight.  A nice way to round off a long day.

Some of the rearranged cubes.

Some of the rearranged cubes.

Thanks to William’s parents for allowing us to use his image in the blog.

Leigh and Gill

Lots of Practical Things

A really busy week after the building survey – we had Saturday off, just wandered down to Bartlemas and had a chat with Jane and the guys who were carrying on from where we left off the previous day. Rather disturbingly they seemed to be doing a lot more drawing than we had managed the previous day!

The next day we went down to Bartlemas Chapel again, this time to help out with the Oxford Open Doors day. This is an Oxford-wide event where all sorts of places open their doors (for free). A lot of the colleges allow much wider access than normal, and museums have special events (a lot have to be booked) like tours of their conservation facilities. As I mentioned in the last blog, Christopher and Sarah, who are trustees for the Chapel, were opening it up so we went down to give them a hand. I had printed out an A1 size enlargement of the plan of Trench 1 from the dig at the Chapel – the trench around the chapel.

The Plan of Trench 1, around the Chapel – on the day we pencilled in where we thought the footprint of the earliest chapel went.

We used this as a starting point for a description of the history of the chapel, from the 12th century on, in the light of what we had discovered from the excavation. Christopher said later on that over 200 people turned up on the day, which I think must be an under-estimate; my throat was telling my that I talked to a lot more than that.

Visitors at the Bartlemas Open Doors event, crowding around the table where we had the plan.

We are having a talk about the dig next Wednesday, the 26th, for full details go to the Archeox website. Jane and Graham took the opportunity to carry on with the survey drawings.

Graham carrying on with the survey drawing from the day before – I didn’t manage to get a picture of the rather Heath Robinson method of holding the measuring staffs against the wall of the Chapel.

I had wanted to do a bit myself, but whenever I was about to have a go, more visitors turned up – ah well, there’s always another day.

The day after we went along to another Animal Bones workshop – we are trying to finish up the initial pass through the animal bones from the Bartlemas dig, so Julie can get down to the proper analysis. Whereas in the past we were doing one step at a time – i.e. either working out what the bones were, then analysing their condition and checking if anything had happened to them (burning, being chewed, etc) and last of all, pulling all the info together onto a summary sheet for that context – this time we did them all. So we started of with a bag full of bones and ended up with a bag full of a) bags containing bones & description sheets & b) one summary sheet. This was then passed onto Julie who was stuck behind her laptop, keying in the summary sheets.

Bones separated out into groups, ready for Julie to come and tell us what they actually are, as opposed to what we thought they were – though we were starting to get better at it!

We didn’t manage to finish the whole lot, but made decent inroads; Julie ran another session on Wednesday to hopefully finish it all off. Gill could not make it, but I turned up, and with a lot of hard work we managed to get it all done – fired up by Jane announcing that she has sorted out our big dig for this year – it’s going to be at Minchery Priory, next door to the Kassam Stadium, starting at the beginning of October.

The location of this autumn’s dig.

There has been some exploratory digging done here, and as the scrubby trees are getting bigger, their roots will start to damage what archaeology there is, so the council has given us permission to do some rescue archaeology – follow this space!

Then on Thursday we had a finds sorting session at ArkT (see the earlier “Finds Sorting” blog), but this time it was the finds from the various Test Pits we have done so far – at least 52 of them.

Jane and I discussing something – not giving each other a Masonic handshake!

Again, good progress was made, and Jane has said she has had good feedback from the various experts that the sorted finds go to of the method we have adopted. Having a summary of everything in that particular context alongside photos of the complete assemblage has proved to be pretty popular. You can see (just about) from the photo how we have laid out all the finds grouped together, we take one overall photo, then as many close ups as necessary. The first session of many, I suspect.

So, as I said at the beginning, a busy week – and no let up in the near future. I’m organising a follow up dig in Iffley of the Test Pit we dug in Mill Lane for the week before the dig at Minchery Priory, there is a taster session at the Ashmolean museum where some of us are going to help out with cataloguing their collection (a never ending game of catch-up from their point of view, an excellent opportunity to broaden our knowledge of different sorts of finds from ours), a talk next Wednesday about the Bartlemas dig (see the link above) and then the start of the dig at Minchery Priory.

Building Survey

On Friday and Saturday, there was a building survey at Bartlemas Chapel; Gill and I were booked in on the Friday session. This was to give us an introduction to the gentle art of doing a scaled drawing of the elevation of a building, in this case our old friend, Bartlemas Chapel. We met up with Jo a bit early at ArkT to pick up the gear we needed and then headed off to the Chapel. I was really gratified to see that there was virtually no trace of all our fevered activity just under a year ago.

A year (almost) after there was a large trench here, and now hardly a sign of all our hard work.

So, after the usual signing in, health and safety and introductions, Jo and Jane started to explain how we were going to go about doing the drawing. In a lot of ways it’s just like drawing a section of the side of a trench – only you’re looking up instead of down! Just like doing a section the first thing is to measure the length and depth (or height in our case) of the area which we’ll be drawing, and then work out what scale (1:10 or 1:20, say) we are going to use given the size of paper we have. A fair amount of head-scratching ensued, but there is nothing so irritating as drawing away merrily for hours, then dropping off the edge of the drawing board – a bit of time spent in preparation is very well spent. Then start by putting in the title (where we are and what we are drawing) the date, the scale and who was doing the drawing. Preparation of the paper done we then started on the wall itself.

This is where it diverges from doing a section – one can’t start hammering nails into a grade 1 listed building! The principal is the same, though; we need a datum, a reference from which all the measurements can be taken. So the first thing to do was set up the dumpy (no one can remember why it’s called that – everyone remembers being told, but as no-one remembers it must be a pretty boring explanation).

Setting up the dumpy

After it has been levelled, with a built in spirit level, we started putting in the datum line; normally we use a string (we had brought some road pins along to stretch the string between, but found we couldn’t push them into the ground) but this time we used a chalk line drawn on the stone work – it will wash off in the first rain. So using the dumpy we drew a line at the same height all along the wall which we would be drawing. Then the fun started.

Basically, the procedure is that we measure a set of prominent points (the corners of distinctive stones, for instance), draw them in, and then freehand the intervening detail. Sounds simple, eh?

Two of us measuring a point on the buttress.

Just by Jo’s head you can see the datum line continuing along the wall from where she is holding the tape so Andrew can measure the vertical distance to the point which we are going to plot. We used the measuring staff, which is leaning up against the buttress, to do the points which were too high for the steel tape.

So after we’ve got a few points measured, then the drawing starts.

The hard work – doing the actual drawing.

This, of course, is the whole point of the exercise. We have had a laser scan done of the building, and have obviously taken a shed-load of photos, but there is no substitute for drawing – the human eye is capable of much better discrimination than any photo. It’s not so much a matter of  “accuracy”, but the ability of a combination of really looking at a subject, then using the drawing to bring out the relevant details.

So after a lot of hard work the end result looks something like this – this is one I prepared earlier ( to coin a phrase) – it’s the end, and the start of the other side, of the buttress that Jo & Andrew are measuring in the photo above.

The end result – the second group started quite a bit later than the first one.

Another group carried on on Saturday, and when Gill & I popped in on Saturday afternoon to have a chat, Jane said we might well carry on Sunday, as quite a few of us are going to be at the Chapel as part of Oxford’s “Open Doors” event. Christopher & Sarah Franks are opening the Chapel so the Project is going to lend a hand (they got a bit overwhelmed last year by the unexpected number of visitors) and do a bit of explaining about what we found during the dig last year. Hopefully there will be a bit more of the chapel to show in a later blog.

Leigh

Animal bones

We have now had two interesting workshops on animal bones, run by Julie Hamilton.  The first one (at Rewley House) was on bone identification and we were given lots of handouts to help and forms to fill in.  There were also a great many reference books, more of which more later.  We were divided into groups of three and asked to select a bag of bones from one context to look at.

The first session at Rewley House

The idea was to decide whether any of the pieces of bone were identifiable or just bits of generic stuff.  The identifiable bones were each given a finds bag and a form of their own  ALL LABELLED WITH THE CONTEXT NUMBER.  First we had to identify from which part of the animal the bone had come and what it might be (tibia? metacarpal?).  Then we had to decide what species it came from.  This is where we used the reference books.  They are designed for professionals who know all the taxonomy, not for amateurs who just riffle hopefully through the pages looking for something similar.  Even for professionals, I imagine they are pretty hard to use.  Leigh and I were working with Christopher and took it turns to examine the bones, look through the books and fill out  the forms.  Julie approved our oddments as oddments so we bagged them up, weighed them, and filled out the top part of the form.

Then we looked at the other bones in detail.  The form includes a section for site code, context number, type of bone and supposed species and a place to put the number of pieces of bone in the bag and the overall weight.

Bones from one context, sorted into groups

We worked on contexts which Leigh had dug and found cattle and horse teeth, cattle, pig and goat or sheep bone and some horse bone.  One of the most interesting things to come out of the afternoon was that there was quite a lot of horse bone compared with other sites which will need some thinking about.  We got through the bulk of the finds bags but there are still more to do.

The second workshop (at Ark-T) was partly a continuation of the first one for people who had not sorted bones before.  Again we worked in groups.  Some of us who had been on the first workshop filled out the next part of the form for the finds we sorted last time.

The second session, at the ArkT Center

This time, we were looking at the condition of all the bones (including the generic bits) to see if they were marked in any way, stained, chewed or burnt.  We found a number of pieces with butchery marks and some dark coloured ones which may have been burnt.  The last mentioned were quite shiny and polished.  We also found several bones which had probably been gnawed by carnivores.  There were places on the form to put all this information.  An interesting bone was a small piece of sacrum which had been neatly cut in half.  This suggests the whole animal was cut in half through the spine which is a butchery practice from medieval or later times.  Another set of three bones fitted together exactly to make a single complete bird bone from a domestic fowl, probably a chicken.   Julie, Jo and Jane were very patient with us and we all had a good time.

The third session, again at Rewley House, continued on from where the previous two session had left off; we consolidated all the info that we had worked out up to now. While before we had been separating out the bones into smaller groups of similar types, or even single examples of identifiable specimens, now we drew all the information together so that each context had just one form (as opposed to each group having one form) which summarised all our work up to that point. The last task, for which Jo volunteered (honest, no arm twisting!) was entering all the info into a spreadsheet, for Julie to mull over – she will produce an assessment report; not final conclusions, but a road map recommending how to go forward with the investigation. There is still quite a bit left to do, but we have made big inroads into the mass of finds, and learnt a lot on the way – mainly about how complicated animal skeletons are and what a maze of Latin terms are involved!

Gill

Sieving & Flotation

We had a fairly early start, as we had to get up to ArkT before 9:00 to help Jane, Jo and David load up the van with all the soil samples to take to Oxford Archaeology, so we could start to separate the soil from the interesting stuff(basically what’s left – this will be looked at more closely, under low magnification using a microscope, by an expert). We had 41 boxes and three bags of samples stored at ArkT, and a further 12 boxes which we picked up which Jane was storing at her place – I think that quite a few of us involved in the project are coming to terms with having boxes of finds and assorted archaeological paraphernalia littered around our homes!

The van after we had finished loading at ArkT, but before we went to Jane's

Then off to Oxford Archaeology, who have kindly let us use some of their facilities to process our finds – not only the Bartlemas soil samples, but also the Test Pit samples. We generally take soil samples for two reasons; to get an idea about all the very small stuff (2 to 10mm) which would be too finicky to pick out by hand, and to take an environmental sample, where we are interested in the organic stuff – small animal remains (snails, insects, etc) and plant remains (seeds, grain, pollen) which can enable us to build up a picture of the environment at that period.

We are really lucky that Oxford Archaeology (OA) have given us this opportunity; we do have some of the equipment required (though not as many units – at OA we can have more than one team at work at the same time). But apart from the obvious advantage of gaining some priceless training from an expert, 52+ plus boxes of soil samples, taken from fairly clayey soil, generates an enormous amount of spoil a.k.a mud. Not the sort of thing one wants to dump on the doorstep, so to speak, of the guys at ArkT, who are being so helpful to us. It’s the sort of detail which can pull a Community project up short, but which a professional organization can take in its stride.

When we arrived we were greeted by Rebecca Nicholson (OA’s Environmental Archaeology Manager) who shepherded us through a seemingly incomprehensible maze to the wet room, where we would do the work, and introduced us to Julia Meen (their Environmental Archaeologist), who would take care of us for the day. Then we all helped to unload the van and stack up all the boxes ready for the work ahead.

After getting suitably kitted out – wellies and waterproofs being the order of the day; there is a lot of water involved – we got started. We kicked of with sieving the sample which had been taken from one of the skeletons that had been found in trench 2. As it was articulated (all the bones still in the same position as when they had originally been buried) we could not lift it – as the ground around the chapel was consecrated we respected all burials, but as soon as we realized that we had found a burial, we collected all the soil in the cut formed by the burial, so that we would not lose anything. It is surprisingly easy to miss stuff when you’re dealing with, as I mentioned, rather clayey soil. So, after estimating how much soil we had (as I might have mentioned before, everything gets recorded; it was about 15 litres) it got emptied onto the topmost of three sieves – the top one being 6mm (I think), the next one being 4mm  and the bottom one 2mm. Armed with a water spray-gun, we took turns washing the soil off the solid residue so that anything smaller than 6mm falls through the sieve to the next layer. After we had all the mud off what was left in the sieve, it gets transferred to a paper-lined tray (appropriately labelled; it’s amazing how many waterproof labels & pens we get through). We then repeat this procedure for the other two trays – I was surprised how much clay gets retained by the lowest, the 2 mm, sieve; with all the water we had poured over the stuff, you would have thought it would have been totally clean by then, but no – it still needed a whole lot of work.

Steve using the water spray to clean off the sample in a sieve

Then took a break for lunch; Gill & I had forgotten to bring sandwiches (well, a bit of a communication breakdown, really) but Gill went round the corner to the recommended deli (Eggs Eggcetera on Botley Road – gets our thumbs up) and took up the whole of the dinner area, rather embarrassingly – though we only realized this after the event. Then got back and chatted to Julia about how many sample boxes she normally gets through in a day – 16! Had a look at the 4 that we were going to do and went outside to look at the heap of boxes outside – a rather depressing sight – it certainly didn’t seem to have got any smaller!

Our sample boxes, center foreground, somewhat lost in OA's huge backlog

I carried on sieving, with renewed vigour, while Julia explained the other technique, flotation. This involves a large tank with a sieve above it – you wash your sample as normal and all the washed out stuff falls through, though this time you have a very fine mesh membrane forming a ‘basket’ in the tank which catches all the residue from the sieve. Once you have cleaned up the large finds remaining in the top sieve and tagged and trayed it, the second part of the operation starts. Water is pumped into the tank from below so it fills up and overflows over a weir and into a second sieve (the ‘flot sieve’) , while the residue in the mesh ‘basket’ is constantly agitated – this causes all the organic material to float to the top and get carried over the weir into the flot sieve. So you end up with a flot sieve full of all the organic content of your sample – and a lot of mud again!

Julia working at the flotation tank. She has finished cleaning the sample and is doing the actual flotation - you can see the water draining over the weir into the flot sieve.

While this was going on we were also moving the still damp trays of samples to the drying room – what luxuries – where they would dry out (surprise, surprise) before being distributed out to the various experts who will, in turn, feed their results back to us for incorporation into future reports.

So that was our day, though as usual there was a lot of chat as well, and we took the opportunity to pick Julia’s brain – a real professional! – on a number of subjects. One of our number is just coming up on University entrance and so was especially pleased to have a couple of people (he was quizzing Jo as well) to chat to about the finer details of various archaeology courses, and all of us were interested to have a professional take on the current upheavals caused by changes in the planning laws, economic troubles, etc.

There are more days planned (we’re not sure how many, check out the Archeox website for updates) to give the maximum number of people a crack at the whip. One of the downsides of this approach is that poor Julia has to start from scratch every day, and the speed of work stays rather low as no one can benefit from experience, but we have to give as many people as possible a chance to experience all aspects of archaeological investigation. This way people learn about the whole process, and appreciate there is more to it than just the ‘sexy’ bits one sees on Time Team.

So a big thanks to OA for a fascinating, if somewhat damp, day, especially to Julia for putting up with us all. On a personal note, many thanks to Steve for giving us a lift home – it wasn’t the walk to the station to get a No 5 bus per se; it was the lugging of the wellies, waterproofs, mugs, etc. David had given us a lift down but had, obviously, had to return the hire van as quickly as poss.

Leigh

Not much to add.  After starting with the wet sieving, I spent a lot of time taking grubby newspaper out of finds trays and replacing it with fresh -strange how bits of news catch your eye (anyone for the story of the cctv camera in traffic wardens’ ID badges?) and writing waterproof labels as the residue in every sieve needs a fresh tray.  Some interesting things among the pebbles and gravel – a few bits of bone and some tiny shells.

Gill

Drawing Workshop

On Wednesday 14th we had a workshop – “Workshops in Archaeological Drawing” – the first one in a series; not quite sure how many as Jane is a bit snowed under at the moment, as she and David are interviewing for two posts. There is a bursary from the CBA for one post, and the other one is a replacement for Paula. Both are now filled – warm welcome to Jo and Olaf; but Jane and David have both been a bit preoccupied of late!

Got to Rewley House a bit early to give Jane a hand setting up – it was of course all done by the time I got there; I wasn’t late (much), honest! One just has to be a very early worm to beat Jane in to work; a fact I should have remembered from the Bartlemas dig. Everything seemed to be OK, the only problem being that when Jane had gone to the cupboard to collect the drawing boards, most of the full size ones had gone – but as we’ve got lots of smaller (approx A4) drawings to do, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The Sadler Room, Rewley House, set up for the workshop

The Sadler Room, Rewley House, set up for the workshop

When everyone had arrived, Jane gave a brief introduction, explaining the main purpose of the workshop; we had done all the drawings at Bartlemas in pencil – a) pencils are waterproof (even if the weather was pretty good most of the time, though I had to give up once as it was raining so hard even a pencil wouldn’t work!) and b) I don’t think anyone is confident enough to be able to do a plan or a section without having to resort to the trusty eraser on occasion. The trouble is that when you scan a penciled tracing, you don’t get a very good image – it’s good enough for reference but not for reproduction, and as we want to publish these they have to be re-traced using pen and ink; in our case, Rotrings. So Jane continued with a short introduction in how to use a Rotring, for those new to them. They are good pens, but you have to be aware of a few characteristics – hold them as near vertical as is comfortable, keep an eye on the lines you’ve drawn (the ink takes a while to dry), don’t use a ruler which is in contact with the paper (either capillary action or moving the ruler smears ink all over the place), always have a tissue to hand (though they don’t drip ink as much as they used to) and then we selected drawings to work on.

If we had been at the dig and had done any plans or sections, we,  of course, grabbed something we had done ourselves; I found the section of Trench 1 that I had done, Sector D. I had a bit of a discussion about the co-ordinates of the nails at either end of the section with Jane (when drawing a section one stretches a string between two nails, which are both checked to be at the same height, and uses it to take all ones measurements from) and how to work them out. I had not put them in on the original drawing – another example of how doing the follow-up work reinforces the importance of recording everything at the time – but we were able to work out the co-ordinates from the relevant plan.

Men at work, with Jane advising

I then steamed on with the occasional break, mainly to check on how to represent various things (Lime Mortar, Cement Mortar, Gritty Soil etc) which weren’t on the handout which Jane gave us; I kept a record for future reference.

Then, all of a sudden it was lunch time! I stayed on while everyone else went down to the common room, where there was coffee and biccies, as I wanted to check the photos for a bit of clarification on my section. Almost as soon as everyone had departed, in came the caterers with said coffee and biccies! Luckily, they were quite happy to take them down to the common room where everyone was waiting. Jane then turned up, with her usual industrial strength coffee, and we went down to join everyone else.

The afternoon went well, though again I was about the last to finish all that mortar and, woe, gritty soil; I had given up on the day and left a lot of it blank, but now I was inking it I had to do the whole lot. The Lime Mortar (45° hatching) wasn’t too bad, the Cement Mortar (random little circles) was taking quite a while, but it was the Gritty Soil (a mixture of dots and little circles) which almost made me lose the will to live! Got there in the end, though, without losing it completely, and was, I must admit, quite proud of the outcome!

Trench 1, Sector D, Section, almost complete, just a bit of lettering to do

The following day we had a talk/workshop about the upcoming season of test-pits, which Gill is going to blog about, and I have been doing a lot of swearing at the computer.  First off, I was scanning a document which Word insisted on forcing the paragraph numbering into numbered bullets – and if anyone out there has ever tried to edit something with numbered bullets will attest, it is an exercise in pure frustration; I have got to turn off the auto-complete function in Word to maintain my own sanity, and stop Gill coming down from upstairs asking “What on earth is going on?”.

My second bout of bad language was caused by ArcGIS Explorer – I’m continuing with my research into the pre-enclosure landscape and am getting a lot of references to Parish recordss, so I thought it would be useful to have a map showing the local parishes. Simple, I thought. Hah! In theory, very simple – there is a function for drawing areas (in ArcGIS Explorer-speak, an area note) – you keep on left clicking your mouse button to extend the area, then when you want to finish, you double-click, the software joins up your current position with your start position, et voila! Trouble is, the slightest twitch and the software thinks you have double-clicked – and the killer is, unlike MapInfo, you can’t edit the damn thing! Well, maybe you can, but I can’t find out how, so I just had to delete and start again; I suppose it’s free, so one can’t complain, but why can’t they make it so instead of a double click, you have to, say, hold down a key then left-click (or something) so there is no chance of a mistake being made.

Ah well, almost finished with the map – the next step is going to be going to the Enclosure Awards and using the descriptions to draw out the pre-enclosure roads. This will provide a skeleton to start to locate the fields which are mentioned in the passing in the awards. Then it’s a lot of work in the OHC looking at lease  agreements and (hopefully) title deeds to get a bit more information. Also the awards do say who the main landowners are (round here, unsurprisingly, Colleges) so that gives one more references to track down.

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