List of Test Pits



  • The survey conducted in 1586 shows William Smith in possession of the original plot which fronted onto Long Acre, at that time called Husband Street. It extended along Fisher Lane to the southern end of the present garden. Samuel Wright held the plot in 1776. By 1841 there were four cottages on the land, all well to the north of the present house.
  • The present house is the first to have been built on this part of the plot.
  • The pit was dug to 70 cm. At 60 cm depth an L-shaped section of the basal red-brown clay was found. This defined a 10cm deep pit the sides of which were exactly parallel to those of the test pit. The sides of the shallow pit were vertical and sharp.
  • The infill to the shallow pit passed upwards with no sign of an upward extension of the sides of the shallow pit. This context was brown-grey clay soil with grit, small brick pieces and abundant charcoal (10%).
  • The context above this is dark brown-grey loamy soil with rounded pebbles, brick pieces, roots and some charcoal in the lowest 5 cm. Colour varies light to dark with depth. Lower boundary is sharp. Above this is a thin layer of dark organic topsoil.
  • Building material, glass, bones and teeth, miscellaneous items and metallic objects were evenly distributed throughout both main contexts, but there were differences in type between the contexts.
  • Clay pipes were all 19th or early 20th century. There was twice as many stem pieces in the upper context than the lower and the highest yield of all was in the 10 cm of the shallow pit.
  • Most of the pottery was modern, accounting for 68% of the total finds. Most of it was 19th century, though there were some sherds of 18th C Staffordshire White Salt-glaze Stoneware. All the White Ware was found in the upper subsoil context; Cream Ware was present mostly in the lower context. Coarse earthenware and a small amount of post-medieval pottery, including Midland Yellow Ware (1575-1700) were found throughout the pit.
  • One sherd of medieval pottery and a worked flint were found just above the incut pit near the base.
  • The upward continuity of the fill to the shallow pit into the context above seems to show that what was excavated was a part of a larger pit with boundaries outside the limits of the test pit. Up until the arrival of the water closet in Bingham in the early 20th century it was common practice to dispose of the contents of the night soil bucket in a pit down the garden. This test pit is sited near the southern boundary of the plot. The clearest hint that this might be a night soil deposit is the abundance of clay pipe stems and charcoal.
  • None of the sequence revealed in the test pit is in its original position.

Click here for a detailed account of the pit

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