So excited to be back writing posts on Willow Court Project again. Special thanks to Glenn, Shaun, Tabby and anyone else who helped get the page up to scratch and looking mint. Be great to be back on board.
My first post is from a conversation I had with Dr Heather Burke from Flinders University briefing me on what they studied up at Willow Court this time around and the outcomes.
I was unable to meet Heather this time around but really looking forward to getting back up there next time.
I found a few things exciting, in particular the bones found and the possibility of a butcher on site in the barracks at one point. During the Open Day there were strong arguments suggesting there was a butcher and strong arguments against it. I tend to think there may have been at least at one point even if it was for a short period.
Dr Burke stated "In 2017 the Flinders Archaeology field school at Willow Court excavated underfloor deposits in the Barracks and tried to locate nineteenth century outbuildings at the rear of Frescati. The Barracks underfloor areas contained some domestic objects (clay tobacco pipe bowls and stems, coins and buttons) but one room had hundreds of pieces of butchered animal bones. These were mostly from sheep, but also included some cow bones. These pieces were large, so must have been thrown under the floor as butcher’s waste, presumably when there were no floor boards present. We’re not sure of when this happened yet but will know more when we have had a chance to analyse it properly.
At Frescati we didn’t have any luck in finding nineteenth century outbuildings. We excavated in three different areas behind Frescati and found a small quantity of domestic objects (ceramics, glass, nails) but no large activity areas or structures. We’ll keep searching next year in one location.
At the Ladies Cottage we recorded the underfloor area from which the existing collection of clothing came from so that we could understand how this material might have come to be there. The Open Day was a great success and we met many former staff members of the hospital, all of whom had interesting stories to tell. We hope to meet more next year.