List of Test Pits


  • From 1586 until the mid 19th C this was on a large plot of land that included the medieval manor house lived in by the de Bingham family from 1266 to around 1348/49. This pit was sited on where their manor house was thought to have been.
  • In 1857 the plot was divided into three and sold. The houses that now occupy the two sites that fronted on the Market Place were built as separate houses. In the mid 20th C they were joined to make a single building that was used for a time by the Rural District Council.
  • The topsoil contains an assemblage of finds that suggest it was re-deposited after the building phase in which the two houses were joined
  • A soil layer below this contains debris derived from the mid 19th C building phase that gave rise to The Limes.
  • This layer of soil has an irregular base where it overlies a pile of building rubble, pottery, glass and other materials that had been dumped at some time in the early 17th C onto a plaster and lime floor. The building rubble includes limestone roofing slates, red clay roofing tiles, fragments of partially glazed floor tile that are thought to be medieval, dressed stone and white gypsum plaster that had indentations on one side where it had been pressed against a stone wall.
  • The floor was severely eroded and degraded before the rubbish was dumped on it. It was followed in a southern extension of the pit to a stone wall that was well built and set with sandy mortar. The wall is 20 inches thick and is believed to be the outside wall of the medieval manor house.
  • The plaster and lime floor consists of five layers:
    • Upper layer
    • Skim of white plaster
    • Lower layer
    • Layer of flat stones
    • Sand layer
    • Rests on clay
  • The total thickness is 15 cm. The upper layer is a hard material with a mix ratio roughly of 80% gypsum plaster and 20% lime. Large aggregate of charcoal, gypsum, burnt limestone, burnt shale and sandstone is typical. The lower layer seems to be a failed attempt at a plaster and lime floor producing a crumbly mix that had no strength and could not have served as a floor.
  • The archaeology beneath the floor yielded a sequence of finds from Roman, early/middle Anglo-Saxon, Late Saxon and 12th-13th C pottery suggesting that the floor was could have been laid at the end of the 13th C and in this respect it is similar to CB01 next door.
  • Only two sherds of medieval pottery were found above the floor and cannot be used reliably for dating purposes. The best way to give an upper date for the laying of the floor is by comparison with the sequence in CB01.

Click here for a detailed account of the pit.

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