On a fairly sunny day with Martin Coulson (from Combe Down Heritage Society) and Val Lyon (from Ralph Allen Cornerstone), and George the dog (who helped...) we began a new survey of the site of the Firs Field Mine Shaft. The survey was to measure where any visible stones from the original wall are in relation to the very large tree that has since grown close to the site.
We needed: Metal spikes (to prod the ground for possible stones and then mark their location); a compass (to measure the degrees to later plot the bearings of the circle wall); a tape measure (to measure the distance of the stones from the tree); a notepad and pencil to record the results...
First of all, we prodded the ground for anything hard that may be a stone from the original wall that surrounded the mine shaft. Some of the stones were still actually visible so they were easy to mark. Where we were sure, we poked the metal spike in to indicate where it was.
Next, we measured the tree and worked out with the compass where North was. The tree helped us to get our bearings. We had a struggle using the compass on the mobile phone so went back to using an old-fashioned compass!
Then we measured the distance from the tree to one of the metal spike markers and its bearings (degrees from North). And noted those results down very carefully!
Now we have all the measurements, the next step is to draw a map. The map is important to show where excavation will be possible and to get permission to do it.