Mason Street Progress, the new staircase

This week, Work has been underway in the Wine Bins, emptying this interesting chamber of its infill. Digging out the staircase has also continued with much excitement. The staircase is proving rather interesting, as it leads down from the surface, bending around and then down into the Wine Bins. We are delighted with this as previously we have had to access this section via ladder. This now means we will have a lovely stone staircase to walk our visitors down in the future.

Looking down the Stairs towards the Wine Bins

However, these steps are not just all about the Wine Bins. We know that they went into another section of chambers just below the surface. This section is currently not accessible due to being filled in with rubble too. What is interesting about here is that next to the doorway, is what looks like a window, underground. Further down the passage, is another bricked up entrance into what would have been the Boiler Room. This chamber has never been a part of our tours due to its awkward access. We also suspect that access into the Banqueting Hall may be possible from here too. Watch this space.

The sweep of the staircase…
Looking from the stairs down into the Wine Bins
The underside of Staircase can be seen above, with a rare view into the Boiler Room which is directly above the Banqueting Hall.
Inside the Boiler Room, so called because this chamber was used to house the boilers for heating the Automotive Garage in later years.

There have not been many finds so far on Mason Street, but the one find from last week is this ring (below). It was found just inside the entrance to the Wine Bins and it looks to be made of cork rather than wood. It is constructed by several layers of shaped material all shaped and interlocking in a circle. When we first discovered it in the spoil, we thought it may have been a cart wheel. Of course, on looking at it now, it can’t be a wheel. But what is it? Well, we did wonder if it might be a lifebuoy or life belt and indeed, this is what we believe it to be. Though what would a lifebuoy be doing in Edge Hill? Well we have been told that it would likely have been that after it had lost it buoyancy, draymen may well have used it for throwing barrels into.

A shot of the strange find…
You can see quite clearly, its construction and profile which points to this being a Lifebuoy…

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