CALCH Day 1 – The Bitter Wind


I woke up this morning to snow falling past my window, and as I live at the bottom of a valley I knew that the weather would be even more inclement atop the Black Mountain. Nevertheless, looking forward as I was to beginning work on the CALCH project I jumped into my car, bright and early, so that I wouldn’t be late on site.

As the road began climbing in altitude the temperature dropped and the snow flakes grew. The snow on the ground had landed in such a manner that all the spoil heaps created during the liming work were defined in white illustrating just how extensive these works were and to what degree they changed the landscape.

The snow dusted hills

The snow dusted hills

I parked up at the top of the mountain, got out the car in order to put on my many thermal layers – scarf, jumpers, fleece, gloves, hat and high visibility coat – and was almost promptly blown over by the wind. Multitudinous layers on, zipped up and not as windproof as I’d thought they were, I walked up to the site hut with Ed (from Dyfed Archaeological Trust) to meet Menna (also Dyfed Archaeological Trust) and began thinking about what tasks lay ahead.

From left; Ed (DAT), Menna (DAT), Holly (BBNP)

From left; Ed (DAT), Menna (DAT), Holly (BBNP)

After a quick tour of the site and work-brief, Ed, Menna and I began working on recording the first of the three kilns that we are planning to investigate. By late morning we had completed one cross-section drawing of the kiln pictured above (photo of section drawing to follow tomorrow) and our fingers were so cold that we could not feel them. The snow was flying horizontally past the kiln entrance but thankfully, due to the sheltering effect of the kiln’s draw passage, we still managed to get some useful work done!

Horizontal snow and section drawing

Horizontal snow and section drawing

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