These 'archaeological finds' were all retrieved from the cottages or gardens over the past thirty or forty years, either in the course of general gardening, or renovation work. We believe they put us closer to the people who lived in Blue Row in earlier years, by giving an insight into the things they dropped, lost, or perhaps deliberately threw away, in the cottages or gardens. The pictures below are just a small sample. Items continue to be turned up as vegetables are dug or flowers planted. These include old iron nails, horseshoes, shards of pottery or glass, sometimes whole glass bottles, hoe and rake heads.

As well as these 19th and 20th century artifacts, the stones tell their own story. Some contains fossils. Others, most visibly in No. 2, show signs of burning. Where stones from the old messuage that burned down used in building Blue Row? We like to think so.

George lll halfpenny (1806) found in a window seat during renovations in the 1970s

It was traditional in rural Oxfordshire for building labourers to put a coin of the year of their work somewhere in the fabric of the building, usually in a fireplace or window seat, for good luck. The halfpenny stays inside the house.

   1806 halfpenny

Medal commemorating Queen Victoriaís jubilee found between the floorboards

This clearly refers to her coronation in 1838 on the reverse. By the age of the portrait, we think this is for her Golden Jubilee in 1887 rather than the Diamond Jubilee in 1897.


Victorian clay pipe found in garden

One of a number of pieces of old smoking pipes, this one, showing a face, is the most interesting. (This is just one.) There are lots of web sites covering the history of clay smoking pipes. PHOTO TO BE REPLACED SHORTLY - THIS IS NOT THE ACTUAL PIPE BUT ONE SIMILAR