Exhuming Oldfield : Dr. Robert Heath : BRLSI Lecture, Thursday 14th March 2024

EXHUMING OLDFIELD : A HOUSE DETECTIVE STORY

When Robert Heath and his wife Frances bought Marston Mill in 2010 the listed buildings register showed it as dating from the 17th century. However, extensive searches of the archives revealed no records of any mill on the site earlier than 1870. But when a local expert identified a buttress on the house as being an old external chimney it was realised that half of the house was a single-storey hall-house, much older than the other half.

Using a combination of research into archives, dendrology, carbon 14 dating, metal detecting, and of course excavation, they gradually unravelled the true history of the property, which turned out probably to have been built 800 years ago. Even more interesting is that the site appears to have been settled by Saxons some 1500 years ago, and occupied on and off for some 6000 years.

Dr. Robert Heath will take us through the detailed story of this fascinating property and update us on the latest finds from the dig which has been going on for the last year.

The talk is taking place at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN on Thursday 14th March, 7.30pm, with an admission charge of £4 for members, and £5 for the general public. Pay on the door.