SATURDAY AND SUNDAY January 21st and 22nd
The site is in the final stages of being cleared with the remains of the garden planting being hacked back.
2. wall clearing 1
The stones that have been cleared are sorted out in the garden for restoration work later on.
2. rubble pile 1
There are numerous fragments of carved stones which are set aside to be studied later.
2. carving 3
2. carving 2
On Sunday the 22nd the local volunteers arrive to start digging down to see what is going on under the surface.
2. diggers 5
2. lower level 1
The volunteers are local residents…… both young and old.
In a short time layers of soil and rubble are dug up and carted away…..
2. girl bucket
Stonework which has been below the surface  for 400 years is exposed.
2. lower level 2
A surface level is uncovered….. and carefully swept up…. So that even the tiniest fragments can be sifted through.
2. diggers 3
Small shards of glass and pottery are separated from the soil. This is a fragment of delft pottery with its blue and white decoration still visible.
2. diggers 2
Even scattered human bones that have lain for centuries have been uncovered.
2. bones 1
Annie Partridge of the Canterbury Trust conjectures that these scattered bones were probably removed from the grave sites in what is now the cleared churchyard. The tombstones marking the ancient graves had been moved to stand against the churchyard walls and any bones found were removed to be re-buried in the South Aisle site. All of the uncovered bones will be carefully removed and stored and then properly re-buried in the South Aisle at the end of the dig.
The weekend of January 28th and 29th will, no doubt, uncover even more interesting remnants of Sandwich’s past.
Watch this space.