We have had some really productive days on the second phase of survey at Basing House, with third year and postgraduate students from the University of Southamotin working hard, and carrying out resistance survey, magnetometry, GPR and magnetic susceptibility of the Old and New houses, and Civil War defences and the outer bailey. Spring also finally arrived today after single-figure temperatures and damp weather. Altogether today marked the best day of surveying yet.
The GPR team and resistance survey teams have spent the last few days working in the Old House, and the outer bailey around the ringwork at the site. The results to date have shown the presence of structures under the modern ground level, particularly in the GPR for the Old House, but some interesting features were located today in the outer bailey, suggesting possible material associated with the pre-Tudor history of the site. The resistance survey of the New House has located an internal gatehouse between the House and the bailey, ad the circuit wall around the house.
The magnetometer survey has moved on incredibly well, with the teams surveying all around the ringwork, covering the Civil War defences of the site. A number of batteries and bastions seem to show in the results, together with a large quantity of ferrous disturbance around to the east of the New House, suggesting munitions and spent musket-balls in the area of the hottest action associated with the third siege. Dan has also uncovered and surveyed the remains of two Second World War gun emplacements on the fenceline between Basing House and Basingstoke common, woth the remains of concrete platforms and upright railway sleepers forming a curve.
In the afternoon the weather improved, and the clumps of primroses on the outer bank of the ringwork stood proud in the sunlight, covering the earthworks with pinpoints of yellow. The third resistance survey team continued work in the Old House, with some miscounting and resurveying of traverses at the 0.5m by 0.5m resolution. Good things seem to be coming out of the results of the resistance survey and GPR from this area.
So the results so far are incredibly promising for the site. The treams have worked very conscientiously and produced some amazing work, and tomorrow is the last day on site, here’s hoping for some more discoveries!