Has it really been four months since I last sat down to update you on what I have been up to? Apparently so…. I apologise.
Since I last wrote, the Church’s Conservation Trust invited me photograph and record the renovation of The Old Black Lion in Northampton as part of the St. Peter’s & Old Black Lion Project (link to the project’s facebook page).
St Peter’s is a Grade I Listed Norman church dating back to the 12th century and the neighbouring Old Black Lion is a Grade II listed building dating back to the 16th century.
The St Peter’s & Old Black Lion Project is being funded by the West Northamptonshire Council, the Architectural Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the renovation will bring The Old Black Lion into commercial use and support the ongoing work of the Church’s Conservation Trust with St Peter’s.
There have been numerous tours of the Old Black Lion to give members of the public the opportunity to see the archaeological excavations of the courtyard of the old pub.
While no dramatic hordes of treasure were found, there was evidence of use of the site including ovens and some of the earliest types of earthenware (Stamford ware) that would have pre-dated the building of the pub.
While the archaeological excavations have now been completed, before the site was given over to the principal restoration partners Midland Conservation Limited, the site was visited by Professor Alice Roberts and her team from Digging For Britain.
The conservation work on the site is moving quickly and it has been fascinating to be allowed to visit the site regularly, witness the progress as well as being to capture images showing how dilapidated the Old Black Lion had become, the renovation taking place (including some of the challenges being encountered) and – ultimately – being able to capture images as the building comes back into being part of the daily life in the historic town of Northampton.
In the meantime, during September there will be some more tours of the site as part of the Heritage Open Days with eight tours taking place of the 8th and 9th September – booking is strongly advised and more information can be found here.