Nunnery dig in Alderney ends with questions still to answer

EXPLORATIONS of the Nunnery site in Alderney are finally finished, 14 years after the first archaeological dig was held.

Known as the Nunnery Heritage Site, it is the only remaining small Roman fort in western Europe, which also has rich Napoleonic, Victorian and Second World War additions.

Dr Jason Monaghan, from archaeological charity Dig Alderney, said teams had been digging at the Nunnery most years since 2008.

Although they have discovered a great deal, and there are more questions to be answered, he argued that it would be questionable how cost-effective further digging would be as it would require larger and deeper trenches than with their current level of resources.

‘This concludes our investigations at the Nunnery for the time being. It still holds secrets, but they are deeply buried. Our attention is now turned to Longis Common,’ said Dr Monaghan.

Further digging at the Nunnery would involved longer and deeper trenches.

The most recent excavation, which lasted 10 days, finished at the weekend.

Parts of the south and east walls of a large building were discovered under the remains of later fortifications

It appears to date to the later medieval or Tudor periods and would have been the largest building in Alderney when it was completed.

A surprise find was an ornately carved stone arch on what would have been the second floor.

As the Nunnery deposits are so deep it was only possible to expose the top of the arch, so it is not clear whether it was framing a doorway or a window.

The volunteer diggers discovered the point at which the Roman south wall had cracked as the corner of the fort fell away.

The newly-exposed areas of the Nunnery will now be landscaped by Visit Alderney for the benefit of the public.

Dig Alderney thanked the Guernsey Museum Archaeology Group, the States of Alderney, the Alderney Society, States Works, the Alderney Wildlife Trust, Driffield Estates and the Alderney Golf Club for their assistance with the project.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News