It rained over the bank holiday and when we arrived at Boltby Scar to start the excavation it was damp and grey, too damp it seemed for the man with the loo who could not negotiate the 1.5km track to the spectacular hilltop location of the Boltby Scar Promontory Fort. The JCB had no problem negotiating the track and, thank goodness, neither did the Landover pulling the site hut, somewhere to shelter from the most aggressive weather.
The view from the top of Boltby Scar is spectacular (Figure 1), and although it had rained earlier in the morning the wind was brisk and there was a clear view over the Vale of Mowbray.
The first cut into the soil on a new site is always approached with some apprehension; the nature of the subsoil has such a vast influence on the visibility of the features and the ease or difficulty with which they can be excavated and whether environmental and other evidence such as ceramics and faunal remains are likely to survive (Figure 2).
The topsoil on Boltby fort is very thin and it was immediately clear that the monument had been damaged by ploughing, however the ditch was clearly visible in the first trench of the three. By the end of the day we had straightened the baulks or edges of the trench and had started cleaning, before the heavens opened and a huge downpour swamped the trenches.