E.J. Rudsdale Talk

I will be giving a talk as part of the Chelmsford Ideas Festival on E.J. Rudsdale's Journals, entitled 'Creating History: A Civilian's Experience of the Second World War in Essex' on Thursday 30th October from 7.30-9.00pm at Anglia Ruskin University. Tickets are free. Book your ticket here. Many thanks, Catherine Pearson

27th November 1939: Archaeological Finds in Wartime

On examining the excavations for [air raid] shelters west of the Castle, I find there is a three foot layer of very disturbed soil just below the surface, containing much broken stone, mortar, 17th century pottery and bits of clay tobacco pipes, which I suppose is the debris left after the demolition of the west wall of the Bailey [in the late 17th century].

[The shelters] were excavated to a depth of only 5 feet and the finds were rather disappointing, although they give some indication of when the western defences [of the Castle] were despoiled:

Illegible coin, temp. Elizabeth
Illegible bronze coin
Bone knife handle, 17th century
Iron spear butt
Bottom of a black glazed tyg
Iron chisel
Bone needle case
Fragments of glass wine bottles, c.1690

This is one of a number of archaeological finds unearthed as a result of digging for air raid shelters in Colchester. See also Eric's diary entries for 6th September 1939, 21st September 1939 and 29th September 1939.

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