Project Director, Graeme Young, provides a little more information about the rock cut features within Trench 1.
We have been discussing the two Anglo-Saxon buildings identified within Trench 1 for a while now so I thought I would post a photo taken late this season that shows up their relationship to the gate rather well.
Both buildings are aligned on the gate cleft, a natural gap in the volcanic bedrock, rather than the external perimeter wall. We believe this is one of the clues to their function, as they are perfectly sited to dominate the entrance. The photo below shows the dolerite bedrock as exposed in Trench 1. The steep smooth side of the natural cleft is visible on the left with the steps and paved area of the modern entrance just visible. The top of the rock shows the smooth surfaces that formed when the volcanic rock solidified millions of years ago and between them man-made cuts that form the foundation slots of the two buildings.
The narrow slot, immediately to the left of the ranging rod, extending into the photograph, is that of the timber building. Some fill remains within it, though it has been emptied closer to the camera where the modern steps have truncated it. Immediately above it, to the right in the photograph, is the flattened ledge along which the stone wall would have extended. The angle of the photograph, looking down towards the gate, does show how much the two buildings, separated by time but so close to one another in space, would have towered over the entranceway, filling the vision of those entering the fortress. A suitable characteristic for the hall that housed the authority that controlled access to a site as important as Anglo-Saxon Bamburgh.