At the end of March, the Museum of Liverpool’s Field Archaeology Unit spent two weeks excavating a site in Rainford. Rainford Tennis Club, which plans to build new courts on the site, funded the excavations prompted by the discovery of large quantities of 17th century pottery when the old tennis courts were excavated in the late 1970s.
The excavation found ditches marking the line of field boundaries, which the team of archaeologists knew to have gone out of use in the early 19th century. This was discovered by overlaying the map of the ditches onto a similar map of the area from approximately 1850, which does not display the boundaries, indicating that they had been filled in by that time.
The collection of pottery discovered in these ditches is one of the biggest of its type to have been excavated in the North West for over 30 years.
A group of volunteers has washed approximately two tonnes of 17th and 18th century pottery excavated by the Museum of Liverpool’s Field Archaeology Unit. The work of the volunteers has been very important in the process, so their help with the project has been essential and much appreciated.
Although excavation on the site is now finished, the team expect to be working on the pottery for many more months, possibly years. All the finds need to be weighed and catalogued for a report, so there’s still lots to be done!