Fourteen days ago we embarked on our search for the powerhouse of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria. Now, as we come to the end of our time here on Lindisfarne, we think we may just have found it!

It’s been a fortnight filled with fantastic finds and features, and we couldn’t be happier with the results so far! As the process of back-filling the trenches gets underway, we’ve taken some time out to reflect on all that we’ve uncovered…

In Trenches 1 & 2 we’ve gathered enough significant datable evidence to suggest that we are well into the Anglo-Saxon layers. The additional discovery of human remains (some potentially still in situ), and not one BUT two carved burial markers, makes it highly likely that this area formed part of the original monastery.


The Anglo-Saxon burial marker found in Trench 2

As yet, we’ve been unable to identify clear structures in the rubble of both trenches, but we’re hopefull that in the future we’ll be able to investigate potential features a little further. The presence of several large paving slabs in Trench 1 suggests that we’ve hit the interior of a building, and a channel of stones running diagonally through Trench 2 may form part of a drainage structure.

Trench 1

Trench 1 with the paving stones visible in the bottom right corner.

It’s a very different story over in Trench 3 though, where we have several clear structures running right the way through the trench. To the north, and centre of the trench we’ve found two substantial midden pits, packed full with shell and discarded fishing equipment, such as fish hooks and boat nails. To the south, a flagstone floor and a slumped stone wall suggest a structure which may well be associated with the fishing activity.

The large quantities of green glazed pottery recovered from this trench suggests that these structures are all Medieval, and so the search for the Anglo-Saxon boundary ditch in this area continues…

The structures in Trench 3

The structures in Trench 3

We’ve had some amazing people join us, both in the field and online, over the past two weeks, and the reaction that we’ve had from you has been incredible. This project couldn’t have happened without your input, so a huge thank you to everyone for your support!

As always, we’re leaving site with plenty of questions and so much more to explore, but hey, that’s alright! It just means we’ll have to come back again next year…