List of Test Pits


  • From 1586 until the mid 19th C the strip of land within which the test pit is sited extended from East Street in the north to Long Acre in the south and the boundaries remained unchanged throughout this period. Because Long Acre was then called Husbandman Street and was where all the farms were situated any cottages built on this land would have been near Long Acre.
  • The first direct evidence we have of property built on this land is on the tithe map of 1841 that shows a row of buildings with a small parcel of land in the south-west corner and rented out to John Stubbs, a blacksmith. Another large house with outbuildings is set back from Long Acre and occupied by William Waywood, a shoemaker. He rented the whole of the rest of this parcel of land. Test pit LA13 is situated at the north-east corner of this building.
  • The current house, No 79 Long Acre was built in 1884.
  • The top 20 cm are topsoil that contains sufficient modern material, including coins, to suggest that it is the result of fairly recent landscaping.
    Immediately beneath the topsoil is a thin layer of clay covering the whole pit and beneath this there is a layer rich in coal pieces.
  • From the coal layer down to 70 cm is a complex inter-layering of clay, soil, coal and building debris. The composition of the material in this unit is such that it is thought it is made up of debris from the house that was demolished before the Victorian villas were erected in 1884 as well as material from that building episode.
  • At 70 cm depth it is considered that there may be evidence of an original ground level. From this depth to around 100 cm the soil is what elsewhere would have been classed as topsoil and it is highly disturbed. The disturbance is thought to relate to the late 19th C building phase. The pottery content of this soil layer contains the some modern, post medieval, medieval and Roman pottery, which is thought to be a component of the contemporary soil.
  • An in-filled rubbish pit was found just below this soil horizon with its top somewhere between 80 and 120 cm depth.
  • The pottery content in the rubbish pit (the lower 50 cm) shows little distinction between the bottom and the top. Nothing older than late 17th at the earliest was found and the collection is dominated by early to mid 18th C material of all kinds including glass, clay pipes and pottery. This, it is thought, dates the infill in this rubbish pit to around the middle of the 18th C. This would make it a domestic dump associated with the house on this site that was occupied by William Waywood’s predecessors. This is the house that was demolished to make way for the 1884 villas.
  • The upper layer in the rubbish pit is indistinguishable from the overlying topsoil and there is a mixing of ages in it with Modern pottery among the post-medieval sherds down to 100 cm depth.

Click here for a detailed account of the pit

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