List of Test Pits


  • The documentary history indicates that the site for this test pit was on ground that belonged to the freeholder who lived in No 19 Church Street at least from 1586 and there is no indication that there was a building nearby until the 1990s.
  • There is a deposit of made ground in the pit section containing dateable pottery from the Late Saxon period to 19th C, which almost certainly existed within the topsoil that pre-existed the house building in the 1990s. All the post-medieval to modern pottery except one piece of post-medieval tile and most of the non-pottery material was found in the made ground. The deposit itself was probably derived from the site of the modern bungalow and was re-deposited after building finished in the 1990s. Besides the pottery and other material there was a plastic bag in it and a layer of pea gravel at the bottom.
  • The soil beneath the made ground seems to be the original soil profile and passes into the underlying glacial clay with a disturbed layer between the two. This disturbed material is likely to be the weathered top of the clay and has bone in it.
  • Pottery ranging from Iron Age, Roman, Late Saxon, Saxo-Norman and medieval was found in the soil profile, but there was no order to it. Though the Roman sherd was at the bottom of the pit, the Iron Age sherd was above it. Similarly, pottery of other ages was mixed. This shows that the soil, though it probably is in its original place, was probably turned during cultivation.
  • There was more medieval pottery than any other age group. It was all attributable to the period before the mid 14th C. In other words the medieval pottery ended at the Black Death. The oldest pottery after the Black Death is Midland Purple Ware, which came into production in the early 15th C. The absence of Light-bodied Gritty Ware, which came into production in about 1350 and usually fills the gap before the Cistercian Ware and Midland Purple Ware has been found in other pits in this area and signifies a time interval of about 50 years after the Black Death during which little appeared to happen in many parts of the community.
  • The abundance of medieval pottery is misleading because there are several fabric types and it spans a long time range. It indicates some sort of activity here, but not necessarily a nearby house. It could have been deposited with manure during the intense agricultural period in the 12th, 13th and early 14th centuries, but it could also reflect on the presence of temporary quarters for the workmen building the church in 1220 and onwards. This could explain the relatively large number of unusual fabric types found.

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