List of Test Pits


  • There is no evidence that the land on which this pit is sited was used for anything other than agriculture until the housing estate was built in the 1960s.
  • The pit site is near the southern boundary of a close that was held in 1586 by Thomas Spybie, who farmed it on behalf of the lord of the manor.
  • In 1776 the land was freehold, but no details are available about ownership. Arguments are presented to support the view that the land had come under the ownership of the Porter family as a result of negotiations with the major landowner, the Earl of Chesterfield, during the general enclosure of the parish in 1680-90.
  • The soil profile through the pit consists of topsoil overlying a farm track. Beneath the track is clay with some pottery near the top.
  • The topsoil contains some 20th C material and was probably laid when the farm track was covered after the houses were built in the 1960s.
  • The material used to make the farm track is a mixture of building debris, stones and pottery. It is nearly 40 cm thick and was laid on an impersistent layer of red clay. This has been used in Bingham as a base for stone structures of various kinds since the middle ages.
  • There is some evidence that there are more than two layers to the track, suggesting that it has been re-laid and built up with time. The upper part consisted of 20th C material, particularly bricks. Some of these were whole bricks with modern dimensions including a brick named Cafferata, made in Newark after 1930. However, the glass found at all depths is most likely to be late 19th or 20th C.
  • Older bricks, including one 1 1/2 inch thick brick likely to be Tudor in origin, were found in the lower parts of the track, but most of the pottery is dated late 18th to early to mid 19th C and younger. It is concluded that material used to make the track came from a variety of sources and was randomly mixed.
  • Pottery collected from the top of the underlying clay ranged in age from c17th to mid 19th C. This is thought to have been the soil horizon at the top of the lake clay, into which it passes down. The lake clay itself contains a number of small mollusc shells similar to those identified elsewhere in Bingham as characteristic of lakes and lake margins. This deposit is extensive in northern Bingham and is thought to belong to a prehistoric lake that silted up before Roman times.

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