List of Test Pits


  • Our earliest record of the plot of land on which Norton Cottage is situated, 1586, shows that it was then freehold under the ownership of Robert Porter, the largest freeholder in the parish after the lord of the manor. It changed hands in later centuries, but there is no indication that there was a household on it until the 19th C. A document dated 1813 names the land as Shearing Close, which might indicate what it was used for,
  • The current house, Norton Cottage, was probably built in 1839-40, but an analysis of the structure done in 1986 suggests that it was built in stages starting in the 18th C.
  • Norton Cottage is situated three or four metres above the road, but the soil profile in the test pit shows that there was an ancient ground level at about 50 cm depth with the soil profile below that a natural one. The likelihood is that Fisher Lane is a sunken roadway and that the ground around the house has not been built up. Its name is one of the few in Bingham that has not changed since 1586.
  • The pottery content above the ancient ground surface seems to suggest that the soil, which contains lumps of clay, was deposited here in the first half of the 19th C, which coincides with the date when it is thought that the house was built. It may have been a result of landscaping during the building phase. The ground surface itself possible dates from the 16th or 17th C, but has been turned during agriculture.
  • The pottery content below the ancient ground surface suggests that there was activity here during the Roman period, but after that nothing happened until the 12th C. The medieval pottery is nearly all 12th to 14th C, but the absence of any typical late 14th C fabric types suggests that the assemblage is pre-Black Death (1348-49). After this there is no pottery until Midland Yellow Ware, which dates from the late 16th and 17th centuries.

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