Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group
Archeology at Whitehouses Pumping Station
Tank before (Jenny Black)
Tank After (Jenny Black)
Date Stone (Jenny Black)
A dirty pint in the Village Swan was well deserved on the way back
to the hall to discuss the findings of the day. A very filling meal
produced by Eli, followed by a speedy AGM meant that the pub didn’t
have to wait long for our return.
RAF Martin and Digger started to excavate the rubble from in front of what was thought to be the 4’ high door into the coal bunker.
Excavating Cellar Door (Richard Worthington)
As the digging progressed Martin announced that the ash door for the boiler was appearing on the opposite wall. There was excitement in the camp as the excavation continued very slowly and gently until a little voice perked up from the back “Martin, why has the ash door got springs like a bed?”. Well, after a little more fettling, it actually turned out to be a bed and the excitement instantly subsided! The excavation continued and before long a bottle appeared, then another and another. In the corner of the basement a large number of bottles had been stacked. There were all sorts of different shapes and sizes, some with corks, some with glass stoppers, some with stripes, some with dots. We decided that the can of Tennents Super that we had found closer to the surface was probably a later edition!
Bottles (Jenny Black)
After we reached the floor we chased it along and then found the brick built steps down to the basement so this is another area that is fully excavated.
Cellar Steps (Richard Worthington)
Meanwhile Richard, Rowena and Jo were chasing the quarry tiles that had appeared around the fire and were starting to uncover what looked like the kitchen floor.
Tiled Floor (Richard Worthington)
Two small holes in the floor just begged for Richard’s camera to be inserted. The results were surprising; it looks as if the whole building has a cellar. All we can see at the moment is a doorway with more bottles stacked in it, still full, which have been undamaged by the demolition and backfilling of the original structure! This opens up a whole new area for excavation as it was something that we weren’t expecting.
So, we still need to find the boiler house so that we can determine the layout of the engine but who knows what else we will find in the process? It seems to be the site that just keeps on giving.