List of Test Pits


  • The test pit site was in a property for which there is no evidence of a household in 1586, but in 1776 there was a small house and garden overlapping the front garden of this house, No 8 Cherry Street and its neighbours to the north. This 18th C house and garden was surrounded by a large close that included the site of the test pit. To the south of it was a cottage on the corner of Long Acre and Cherry Street where Regency House now stands.
  • These two cottages were still present in 1841, but by 1910 the smaller one on Cherry Street had gone and the land occupied by the test pit had become an orchard (hence the present name Cherry Street).
  • The present house was built in the 1920s.
  • Bar charts showing the finds distribution in this pit reveals an overlapping stratigraphy, but the greatest abundance of successively younger fabric types occurs at successively higher levels. There is no evidence that any part of it is made ground and has been imported to the site. There is, however, abundant evidence that the soil has been turned during cultivation through time leading to the mixing of finds of different ages.
  • The peak in the distribution of building materials is in the top 50 cm, particularly between 10 and 20 cm. This upper section might be associated with the building of the present houses in 1920.
  • The modern pottery, which is almost entirely 19th C, is confined to the top 40 cm. Also confined to this part of the pit section are the post-medieval pottery, coarse earthenware and brown stoneware. These fabric types span the 17th and 18th centuries. This period, 17th to 19th C is when it is known that there were cottages near by.
  • Pottery from the late 15th to 16th C is confined to two sherds of Midland Purple Ware. This indicates a low level of activity hereabouts at this time, something confirmed by the absence of any indication of a cottage nearby on the 1586 map.
  • There is no evidence apart from a piece of coal that there was a medieval household near here. However, pottery from the Late Saxon period to the late 15th C indicates that there was continuity of activity here throughout the period. The Black Death seems to have made no impact. The amount of redistribution and mixing of medieval pottery suggests that this ground was used for agriculture at this time and that the pottery found may well have been from manure scatters.
  • More Roman material was found in this pit than in any other and is indicative of a Roman household of some substance situated nearby. Building materials found associated with the pottery show that it was built using brick and had a stone tile roof. The roofing stone is fossiliferous limestone, similar to the material found associated with the medieval manor house (CB01 and CB34) and the original rectory (CB02). The Roman house remained occupied throughout the period of Roman occupation.
  • There was possibly a late Iron Age settlement here before the Roman Conquest.

Click here for a detailed account of the pit

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