List of Test Pits


  • This test pit was dug on land that is marginal to the post-glacial lake that covered much of the northern part of the parish, but which was silted up before the Roman occupation. This area is likely to have been boggy and used mostly for pasture. The land was farmed by the bailiff to the lord of the manor in 1586, but we do not know how it was used. 200 years later (1776) it was being used mainly for pasture carrying the name Cow Close and throughout the 18th C it seemed to have been used for the same purpose. There was no housing in the area until the estate was built in the late 1950s and 1960s.
  • There are only 25 cm of topsoil and subsoil at the bottom of which is a layer of charcoal. Most of the finds were from above this charcoal layer. Impersistent layers of clay, thought to be young sedimentary deposits, below the charcoal contain finds down to 35 cm depth. Black peaty clay below this contains mollusc shells and is probably the original lake margin deposit.
  • Building material found in the top 25 cm can mostly be attributed to the building phase that gave rise to the current house. Two pieces are anomalous: one is Welsh roofing slate, because this is not the preferred roofing medium in the estate. The other is a black glazed tile similar to post-medieval roofing tiles found elsewhere.
  • The layer of charcoal probably indicates a ground surface, which from clay pipe dates can be attributed to the late 17th C. One or two 18th or 19th C pottery sherds below it are probably the result of mixing during agricultural processes of one form or another.
  • There is no pottery older than early 18th C Mottled Ware, which was found at the bottom of the succession above the peaty clay. 

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