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I'ts not only in the field that interesting discoveries are made - sometimes they fall off the bookshelf.

While looking for a report a scrapbook fell to the floor. Within the book were a collection of black and white prints of an archaeological excavation carried out in 1968. The excavation was on the corner of Victoria Street and East Street in Hereford and is now covered by the road and footpath, grass bank and public carpark.

The excavation examined the development of the medieval defences by cutting through the rampart behind the line of the wall. The area was not always defended, below the rampart were the remains of two grain or malt drying ovens with firing chambers, stoke pits and lateral stone-lined flues. The ovens would have been used to dry grain before it was put into storage. The process would have prevented the grains from going mouldy.  

More information on the excavation can be found in Hereford City Excavations, Vol II.  The volume was published in 1982 by the Council for British Archaeology and can be downloaded from the Archaeological Data Service.

The photgraphs were shot  by PA Rahtz.



 A Health and Safety nightmare!

the town wall
Masonry associated with the defences.
rampart with East Street in the background
 A bulk section through the western rampart of Hereford's defences - two grain drying ovens were uncovered below the rampart.
corn drying oven
The grain drying ovens consisted of a combined firing chamber and stoke pit with a stoned lined flue.
corn drying oven
The ovens themselves were partly built of reused Roman masonry which included two altar stones.
rampart section
The archaeological work was helped along by a steady stream of volunteers which included children from many local schools.
g g
The sloping layers of the rampart.

  Victoria Street is just visible in the background.

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