This page is part of a larger site tour of the Coleshill estate which is mainly Aux Units
locations. Click here to start the
|Please Note: The Coleshill House site and grounds are
owned by the National Trust. The woods and grounds of the house are all strictly private and
access is limited to set days a year. See our events page for their official open days.
Attempting to access the site outside of these times is not only trespassing but could damage the
future of our work and relationship with the Trust and villagers. Please respect
Structure 2 - Suspected Generator Room
This page was last updated at 4:25pm on 13/2/12
Picture of the structure taken by CART Jan 2011.
Picture of the structure taken by CART in July 2011.
The following information is an EXTRACT from an archaeological report produced in January 2012
following CART's Coleshill Uncovered project. A range of people
contributed, including CART. The report was edited by John Winterburn and Anna Gow.
We have extracted the key info for this area but would suggest you read the full report here
STRUCTURE 2 - SUSPECTED GENERATOR ROOM
The clearance work carried out in January 2011 had not provided any clues as to the original function of the two
concrete plinths. It was therefore decided to open up two trenches by these structural remains; the first just
north of the eastern concrete plinth (Trench 1) and the second around the eastern of the two concrete plinths
(Trench 5) - see Drawing No. 10 in Appendix A (Below).
Trench 1 - the topsoil (which varied in depth from 0.05m - 0.12m) was removed and a layer of
rubble (1.2) was uncovered across the full area of the trench. Made up of medium lumps of broken-up concrete, rocks
and some small pieces of brick, in a dark brown sandy soil, this layer extended beyond the limits of excavation in
all directions. This rubble layer was removed, as was the layer of dark friable soil (1.3) that sat below it, again
across the full extent of the trench. Below context (1.3) were a compacted layer of clunch (rough chalk rubble or
building blocks) (1.4) and a light brown dirty clay (1.5). Located only on the western side of Trench 1, the clunch
layer runs the full width of the trench (1m), runs 1.10m - 1.28m into the trench from the western side and extends
beyond the trench in a northerly, southerly and westerly direction. Context (1.5), the dirty clay, sat at the
eastern end of Trench 1 and was 0.60m - 0.75m long. Again it ran for the full 1m, width of the trench and extended
beyond the trench boundaries to the north, east and south. Investigation at the juncture between the two contexts
showed that the clunch sits on top of the clay and has therefore been laid down at some point in the past.
Trench 5 - here the topsoil was removed to a depth of between 0.04m - 0.13m south of the
eastern concrete plinth, and between 0.04m - 0.07m north of the plinth. Below this were a rubble layer (5.2),
similar in composition to that found in Trench 1 (1.2) that sat to the north and west of the concrete plinth, and
also an orange brown sandy clay (5.4) that was located south and east of the plinth. The rubble layer was removed,
as it had been in Trench 1, and below it was a dark friable soil, similar to context (1.3) in Trench 1. Excavated
to a depth of approximately 0.14m this context was not fully removed.
Trench 1 extension - the layer of clunch (1.4) that had been uncovered in Trench 1 was not
found in Trench 5, so it was decided to dig a 0.5m wide sondage from the western end of the south side of Trench 1
to connect with Trench 5, to see how far this context continued. Below the topsoil, both the rubble layer (1.2) and
the friable soil (1.3) continued across the full dimensions of the sondage. The clunch layer (1.4) also continued
south out of Trench 1 and along the sondage towards Trench 5. However it stopped approximately 0.30m from the
northern edge of Trench 5 and again appears to overlie clay. There were three potential stake holes (all
approximately 0.07m diameter) located within this layer in the sondage (see Drawing No. 10 in Appendix A for
locations). Significant finds
A 3d coin, dated 1933, was found in the topsoil of Trench 1. All other finds came from contexts 1.1, 1.2, 5.1 &
5.2 but none were significantly dateable.
The rubble layer that was located in Trench 1 (1.2), through the sondage and north of the concrete plinth in Trench
5 (5.2), has been interpreted as a dumping/collapse layer consisting of elements of the broken-up structure, and as
such is likely to be post WWII. The clunch layer (1.4) yielded no dating evidence and did not appear to have any
direct relationship with the eastern concrete plinth, it sits below the rubble layer which suggests that it is pre
WWII. Maps from the 18th century indicate that the road alignment from Coleshill to Farringdon may have been
located here. The sandy clay (5.4) could be part of a formation deposit for the concrete revetment that appears to
surround the exterior of the structural remains. During the investigation of this area, no further structural
remains were found and we do not have any new information that will help us understand whether or not these
structural remains were originally part of a Generator Room.
Read more about the house pre war here and during the war here.