Investigations at Hammerwich Hall Farm

 

In January 2011, we were asked to investigate a field at Hammerwich Hall Farm. The field, lying immediately to the south of the existing farmhouse, has some intriguing humps and hollows which English Heritage describe as "degraded earthworks". George Stanley, Lord Hammerwich MP (ca. 1440 - 1508), was born in Hammerwich, and is understood to have had a house in this area - could it have been in or near this field?

 

In mid-March, a local aviator took some aerial photographs of the field: here are two of them. The first (L) is a view looking Northwards, and the second (R) looking towards the West.

 

Aerial view looking N Aerial view looking W

 

In April, we spent 2 full days carrying out a resistivity survey of the field: here we are on a north-bound traverse, with the farmhouses (old and new) in the background.

 

Resistivity Survey northbound

 

Below is a view of the result of the full resistivity survey. North is at the top i.e. the current farm buildings are off the top of the view. Darker areas represent a lower resistivity than the lighter areas. The dense black area at bottom left was not surveyed. The horizontal band to the right of this unsurveyed area was unfortunately introduced when we moved the remote probes - it does not represent a real W-E linear feature! Click on the thumbnail to display a larger view. The grid lines around the edges, which are visible in the larger view, are 10m apart.

 

Final resistivity results

 

The following illustration shows a negative image of this resistivity result superimposed on a 19C tithe map. The blue area near the hall might represent the remains of a moat - the remaining pool was filled-in in living memory.

 

Tithe map with resistivity overlay

 

We have just (September 4th 2011) completed a magnetometry survey of the site. I will post the results here when we have completed processing the data.

 


 

Report


The results of our investigations on this site will be posted here when the report is available. Colin Sparkes has written this historical introduction for the report, and we are making it available now in advance as it provides an interesting insight into medieval local history in its own right.

 

13th January 2014

 

Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society, January 2014

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