List of Test Pits



  • Two pits (CB01 and CB01E) were dug in the front garden to Beauvale House on the north western side of Market Place. Both were extended beyond 1 metre square.
  • The 1586 manorial survey gives an indication that this may be the site of the medieval manor house, which at that time was in a state of ruin.
  • There is no record of a house on this site in 1776, but information collected during the house history project suggests that this is in error and that there was a house here probably throughout the 18th C.
  • Either late in the 18th C or early 19th C the house was remodelled and made to face south overlooking the market place. It is clearly shown on the tithe map of 1841. The bay windows and the cast iron porch were put on after that.
  • The test pits yielded only two sherds of Roman pottery, one at the bottom of CB01, the other associated with a demolition layer at 60cm depth. Little can be inferred from this. Thereafter, there was nothing more until the 12th C, after which there is pottery from all periods to the 20th C.
  • A stone feature was revealed at about 80 cm depth which has been interpreted as a foundation layer to a stone floor that has been robbed since it fell into disuse. It was a maximum of 20 cm thick and may have been covered with tiles, some fragments of which have been found. The floor was laid on a thin layer of red clay and this same material was used as a filler between stones in the floor.
  • All the pottery found beneath the floor has a date range of 12th C to early 14th C with Nottingham Splashed Ware the most common.
  • Objects such as oyster and whelk shells, butchered beef, sheep, pig and venison bones, painted wall plaster, large lumps of coal, Saintonge pottery, which was made in France and used for exporting wine all give a window into the affluent lifestyle of the inhabitants. They were found beneath the floor, which suggests that it was not laid when the building was first erected, but came as a later modification, possibly around 1300. Documentary evidence shows that Sir Richard de Bingham, the lord of the manor, lived here at this time. A silver penny from the early 14th C was found lying on the floor.
  • Between 10 and 20 cm above the floor is a demolition layer consisting mainly of limestone roofing tiles, many of which have 1/4 inch holes drilled through them. A rusting iron nail is embedded in some of the holes. The limestone has been identified as coming from a quarry in Barnstone that is still being worked for lime. This layer has been interpreted as the result of a roof collapse.
  • All the pottery found between the stone floor and this demolition layer falls within a date range 1350-1450. It is known that the second lord of the manor died during the Black Death in 1348-49. It is not known who lived in it after that, but there is a possibility that the Rempstone family lived there until some time in the mid 15th C. The continuity shown in the pottery types does not show that the place became uninhabited after the Black Death but that the deterioration of the house and collapse of the roof was likely to have been before c1450.
  • Though there are a few older types of medieval pottery within the topsoil the predominant ware type immediately above the demolition layer is Midland Purple Ware, which was being made some time after 1400. This confirms the date of the roof collapse as being most likely in the 15th C.
    Pottery for the post-medieval and later periods shows that there was activity here from the late 15th C, but it is not until the late 16th C, when Midland Yellow Ware came into production, that the abundance suggests that there might have been a house nearby. There has been property here ever since.

Click here for a detailed account of the pits.

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