Archaeology

The history of the quarries have come to light through diligent research at Chester Archives by Audrey Davies that has allowed the directors to discover some of the quarry secrets. However, it was through an archaeological trail pit dug by Paul Marsden with his two sons in 2011 that provided a wonderful insight into life at the main quarry.

 

By excavating a small hole of about one metre square at the foot of the eastern wall of the quarry, a beautifully preserved beer flagon was found almost in tact. Apart from a couple of minor chips at the rim and a piece missing from the handle, the 1850's drinking vessel would typically have been used by quarrymen to carry watered down beer in the absence of fresh water during the working day.

 

From the position where the flagon had been carefully rested on broken sandstone rocks about 750cm below modern ground level, it appears that the owner had placed it down in perhaps one of the last excavations in the quarry and it had been covered or forgotten by accident. It was 160 years later when it was discovered without damaging the fragile flagon. The story isn't quite finished though.

 

A year later, Paul and his sons, Alex and Richard returned to find the missing part of the stoneware handle resting on the surface, presumably cleaned from a winter's worth of rainfall. The missing piece was restored and the demi-john sized vessel has been restored to its former self.

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