Day 1 of the archaeological project (5 April 2014)

Today the project started at Lager Wick. Our aims for the day were to carry out a walk-over survey of the entire area of the camp, and we were accompanied by Piers Sangan of Sangan Island Conservation, who guided us around the site. Piers has recently been involved in clearing the part of the site that we will survey and excavate, so he accompanied us around the area beyond this, as requested by the landowners, the Chefs Tenants of Grouville.

The area was so very densely covered in trees, bushes, undergrowth and overgrowth that it literally was not possible to even walk in the vast majority of the camp beyond the survey area. We could only visit a few isolated pockets, and even this left us covered in scratches, stinging nettle stings and getting sucked down into the boggy areas of the land. Despite this, Piers led us to the one surviving structure of the site, which Ginns (2006, 77) cites as the latrines. The structure has become choked with undergrowth since he photographed it in the early 1990s and was almost unrecognisable.

We also found what seemed to be something possibly connected with the camp’s electricity supply – an electricity post – but whether it dates to the camp or is part of the general parish rubbish that was dumped here over the years, we cannot yet be sure (I welcome thoughts from anyone who recognises them).

We also took the opportunity today to probe the surface of the ground to see if any hut platforms could be detected. Aerial photos do not show hut platforms in the area we investigated, and we did not obtain any positive suggestion on the ground to suggest that they might exist / survive.

I certainly wish that it was possible to see more traces of the camp, and to survey a wider area, but the sheer density of foliage makes this prohibitive. Image

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About Gilly Carr

I am a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education. I work in the field of conflict archaeology and POW archaeology, and my fieldwork is based in the Channel Islands.

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