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The Big Dig 30 Sep 2010 (Fishponds Committee) Uncovering the archaeological secrets of the Fishponds - Verity Hughes reports

Three years ago, when clearing the old Chilbrook, we found the road which was the continuation of Abbey Street leading towards Sutton and Stanton Harcourt. It was closed in 1217 by Abbot Adam and diverted to what is now Station Road so that he could build fishponds for the abbey. We also found a short length of old wall. We had no knowledge of any buildings in this area so it remained a mystery until Wychwood v young volunteers were looking for a summer project.

A group of young volunteers from Wychwood v has spent three days re-excavating the old road and the wall. Sadly we are none the wiser, the wall only extended about 30cm further than we had dug before and then fizzled out. Oxford Blues Metal Detecting Club also sent volunteers to check the area but they were equally disappointed, although we did find a few pottery shards some of which are Roman and some probably earlier.

However 10 or so youngsters had a great time, many people from the village called by and had a brief history lesson and we even had some very young volunteers join in.

We have had to re-cover the area to preserve it but the work has been photographed and drawn and will be sent to the county archaeologist who had given his permission for the dig to take place.

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