Before their 2009 season came to a recent end, the University Archaeological Department were continuing to work on their enigmatic site at Frilford. I went down there and was shown around in footsteps of Professor Martin Henig and before a visit to the excavation team from the illustrious and still active Professor Sammy Frere ( there can't be many people who have moved on, as Frere did, from schoolmastering at Lancing straight to a fellowship at All Souls).
Palimpsest doubly palimpsested is about the shape of Frilford; the last layers being late Roman and early Saxon. There is the ubiquitous Romano-Celtic Temple; then, built c 340, an orientated building with a rectangular 'chancel' at both East and West and what I think of as a 'porticus' on the North. Not far away is what looks like a stone amphitheatre ... except that it collects water and seems to have been designed to do so (with a leat draining off to a nearby river). Am I barmy, or do we have here ...
8 August 2009
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Take the plunge!
I hope there was some form of heating if the structure was indeed what you imply.
A collateral descendant of Walter Howard Frere, sometime Bishop of Truro - in whose Diocese the now very disregarded remains of St. Madern's Church are to be found, with water, channelled from the same source as the now very Pagan site of his Holy Well...? In Bishop Edmund Morgan's time, Diocesan pilgrimages were held to the holy well and to the ruined church: perhaps one should be glad that Belinda never discovered it, to milk it for all the facile publicity it would be worth...
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