List of Test Pits

LA06, 20, 21, 24, 25

  • Only the western side of Warner’s Paddock was investigated. Four pits were dug close to the western edge of the field, close to Jebb’s Lane, while a fifth was dug along a field boundary running down the middle of this part of the field.
  • The conjectural map for 1586 shows that the field boundary divided plots rented by two different tenants, while the area to the north, now occupied by the bowling club, was rented by a third person. In the late 18th C, farm buildings were put up along Long Acre and remained until the mid 20th C when all except the Dove Cote were demolished. There were never any substantial buildings in the area in which the pits were dug, but a small cottage existed from the early 19th C at the corner of Jebb’s Lane with The Banks.
  • The archaeological evidence yielded from the five pits shows that there was likely to have been human occupation of the field from the Iron Age to the mid 14th C.
  • Two of the pits yielded late Iron Age sherds, but the existence of 1st C hand-made pottery among the Roman collection suggests that there was likely to have been a settlement here before the Romans arrived.
  • One pit yielded more Roman pottery than any other except a pit dug in Cherry Street (LA09). Though most of the sherds were utilitarian Grey Ware, there were sherds of the more expensive pottery such as samian ware and Nene Valley colour-coated wares. The evidence that there was a Roman farm
    house here is not conclusive, but strongly hints at it. The date range for the Roman sherds extends from the 1st to 4th centuries.
  • Early to middle Anglo-Saxon pottery (mid 5th to mid 9th C) was found in one pit only, but there was more Late Saxon pottery found here than anywhere else in Bingham and it was closely associated with smithy slag. Evidence from elsewhere in Bingham suggests that by this time Bingham village had started to develop and it would appear that this area was an important part of the young village. Indeed, the discovery of finds from the Iron Age to the mid 14th C in the pits dug along the line from Jebb’s Lane, Cherry Street and Church Lane suggests that this was an important thoroughfare throughout this time and might have been the village main street. ? Plentiful Saxon-Norman and 12th to mid 14th C pottery suggests that this area contained a vibrant community. Of all pottery types for this period Nottingham Splashed Ware (12th-13th C) was the most plentiful. Some of the smithy slag was found associated with pottery of this period. There was also an iron hunting arrowhead and boar tusks among the 12th C pottery.
  • Elsewhere in Bingham there is strong evidence that the late 13th and early 14th centuries were among the most productive at any time in history before the 19th C. Every part of the parish that could be farmed was under cultivation. Sherds older than this from the test pits show signs of having been eroded and worn by repeated working in the soil. This suggests that the 13th-14th C arable farming extended to here. However, there are no signs of ridge and furrow in this field.
  • There is no medieval pottery that post-dates the Black Death (1348-49) suggesting that the community that had existed here since the Iron Age came to an end.
  • Thereafter there is nothing until some Cistercian Ware sherds were deposited. This fabric type was being made from after 1450 and shows that there was a gap of about 100 years after the plague during which the community began to recover from its losses.
  • From the late 15th C onwards there is so little pottery in the pits that it seems unlikely that the land was worked for arable cultivation, remaining pasture throughout. The 18th and 19th C sherds can be explained by casual losses associated with the farm on the northern side of the field. No evidence was forthcoming about the inhabitants of the small cottage on the southern corner of Jebb’s Lane.

Click here for a detailed account of the pits.

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