But we should have known not to trust the great British summer! We arrived on site to find our trenches filled with water, making it totally impossible to dig. However, that didn’t stop our fabulous volunteers who got on with washing the initial finds from the trenches and excavating the back path which leads to the original Ladies entrance. With the weather not looking any better for the rest of the week, we had to make the decision to postpone digging for a few days and cross our fingers that the site dried up!
Most exciting of all was the discovery that the team made on the final afternoon of digging – the walls of what we believe is Brook Cottage, as shown on maps from the 1800s. It may not look much in the photographs but after all the challenges and everyone’s hard work, this was really exciting! Further exploration within the trench also revealed a section of brick floor which could have been a path or part of an outbuilding.
Despite the rain, we were thrilled to also be able to work with four local primary schools– Lister Infants, Lister Juniors, St Anne Stanley & Broadgreen Primary – running in-school workshops to learn about the role of archaeologists and the tools they use, as well as welcoming 90 local children to site to get hands on with The Big Dig. The children had a chance to dig for finds and look for clues to help explain what the items might be, as well as helping us wash some of the finds that came out of our trenches. We’re really pleased that with the help of the Museum of Liverpool, we were able to offer this unique experience to local children in our area and hope it has inspired them about both archaeology and The Old Library project.