Big Dig 2 – Exciting start at Mason Street…

Just a few of the volunteers that helped to uncover the staircase today…

Following the successful completion of our Paddington Big Dig, we gained permission off Liverpool City Council to commence work on the Williamson’s House site on Mason Street.

The start of Big Dig 2 at Mason Street has already started to delight and surprise. We started digging in the Wine Bins and found some very interesting features, notably a small arch that now has a drain pipe running through. Although filled with rubble and a pipe, probing suggests that this small tunnel is a minimum height of around 3ft high. A channel has also been found in the floor, running down the centre of the chamber which appears to be cut out of the sandstone.

Wine Bins, showing the small brick arch in the lower right corner of the photograph.

We are working on improved access to the Wine Bins, as we will in the Banqueting Hall too. It looks likely that this improved access could be via a lovely Sandstone staircase which was re-discovered last week. We have continued to dig today increasing the depth of the staircase, which now extends down 13 steps so far. It has been found that the bottom few steps turn around to the right. Is it possible that the staircase turns and continues down beyond the Wine Bins, but to Where…?

Rex working hard to uncover the steps…
The staircase at the end of todays dig, with the shovel sitting on the 13th step. The Boiler room is to the right of the photograph, on the other side of the Arch Wall.
The staircase, showing the turn at the bottom and an entrance into the Wine Bins.

You can also see in the Boiler Room, which could previously only be seen through a hole in the Banqueting Hall roof. Beyond the old boilers in the photograph, the wall separates us and the newly uncovered staircase. Sunlight now shines through the holes in the wall, something that we have never seen before. We knew of the existence of this staircase, because its underside has always been visible through the right hand hole in the wall.

The Boiler Room, directly above the Banqueting Hall.
Close up of the very old garage Boilers. The staircase is on the other side of the wall.

The Mason Street site is likely to excite and surprise us for some time as it finally gives up its secrets. Well,  we are off to a good start. Watch this space and our Facebook and Twitter accounts for regular news updates.


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