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Another report from the trenches at Leasowe

11 October 2007 by Sam

Yesterday Liz Stewart gave an update on the community dig at Leasowe. Here’s a follow up report from Frances McIntosh, the finds liaison officer for the region’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, who is based at National Museums Liverpool, when she’s not digging up trenches


“We’re into our third week now and have so far only had two days of rain, pretty lucky for the North West!! We’ve had 2 open days with hundreds of people coming to see what we’ve been up and to and find out more about the history of the lighthouse and its surrounding areas.

We have two main trenches open by Leasowe Lighthouse which have uncovered the outbuildings from when the lighthouse was occupied and functional. There was no running water in the 18/19th centuries inside the building and so the wash room and toilet were outside. We have also discovered the old stables and pig sty.

All the volunteers have been offered the chance to get a picture of what archaeologists do on a daily basis and have got their hands dirty! We have been finding lots of debris in the outbuilding from the time when they went out of use. We also have lots of glass, most likely from the lean-to tea-shop set up beside the lighthouse. All these finds have kept us busy with the finds processing side of excavation. This involves washing, sorting and bagging all the finds uncovered whilst digging.

During the second week of the excavation West Kirby Metal Detecting Club were invited to take part in a survey of the wider area around Leasowe to see what we could find. Although we did not find any Roman finds, a few of which have been found on Leasowe Common and the beach in previous years, we did get a few interesting objects including a 18/19th century harness decoration and an 1860 silver penny.

Other projects around the area have included lots of test-pitting to try and find further areas for excavation. As many people will know from the finds at Meols we know that the Wirral was not as quiet in the past as previously thought. So far the sandy soil and high water table have been foiling our attempts at opening more trenches but we are hopeful that we will be able to open some more trenches soon. If you see a JCB about with two ladies in yellow jackets it is probably Clare and Helen, archaeologists from the Field Unit.”

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