Headland Archaeology Ltd
The search for Ewyas Harold Priory: Season 1 Interim Report
Guest Contribution: Introduction
This archaeological survey report is reproduced with the kind permission of Headland Archaeology Ltd to whom we are most grateful. The full report can be downloaded as a pdf file by clicking the link on the title page below.
Ewyas Lacy Study Group
The first season of an archaeological research project aiming to locate the medieval priory at Ewyas Harold was carried out by Headland Archaeology (UK) between 14th and 25th August. The project is supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund and is sponsored by Ewyas Harold History and Archaeology Group. A total of three trenches were excavated in two locations - one in the grounds of St Michael’s Church, east of Dulas Brook, which revealed no archaeology and two in the ‘Priory Field’ – part of the scheduled monument of Ewyas Harold Castle. The excavations in summer 2010 targeted previously surveyed geophysical anomalies suggesting the presence of structures in the Priory Field and uncovered evidence for medieval occupation. The remains uncovered in the Priory Field included a stone surface which could relate to a surface within a structure or a corn drying oven and evidence for wattle and daub structures. There was also evidence of the design of the castle outer bailey rampart and its subsequent collapse. The environmental information suggests the storage of grains and possible metal-working in the area. The faunal analysis show species representation and their exploitation seems to follow the utilization of cattle and sheep/goat reported in other domestic sites in England, where mixed husbandry was applied to both species commonly found in Medieval England. There was no strong evidence for the location of the priory and the pottery assemblage suggests ordinary domestic occupation probably related to the original medieval village.