Scotney: Northwestern and Southampton Projects

Our Fieldwork

Scotney Topographical Survey

The past two fieldwork seasons at Scotney have focused on noninvasive survey techniques to gain earthwork details and landscape context for the wider environment surrounding the site.

Geophysical and topographical survey techniques were employed to gain a better understanding of subsurface and surface features at the site. Total-station topographical survey was chosen as it provides an effective means for mapping the topography on a macro-scale, in a relatively small timeframe. Resistivity was chosen as the geophysical technique due to its ease of use and low cost.

An area of approximately 1.6km2 was covered in the topographical survey, with an area of 60m2 covered in each geophysical survey. Three key locations across the site were chosen as the potential site of the mill or central section, the south section or copse, and the east section. The geophysical survey of the possible mill site produced results that were inconclusive. Nevertheless, the resistivity results highlighted an area of higher resistance which aligned with the bank running across the knoll.

The 2011 and 2012 seasons produced a complete topographical survey of the areas to the south-west, south and south-east of the castle.  The clearest features were those of the 19th century landscape park – the carriages drives, bridges and other features show up very clearly.  Underlying these features are more fragmentary traces of an earlier landscape, probably though not certainly medieval in date.  A hollow-way runs from south-west to north-east, apparently destined for the castle.  More fragmentary features run off this hollow-way, and there are traces of possible terracing running across the river valley.  Documentary records indicate the presence of a watermill in this valley. Geophysical survey of one possible site for this mill was unfortunately inconclusive.

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