List of Test Pits

SHC01, 02 and 03

  • The land around the school is at the westernmost margin of Bingham. St Helen’s chapel was built near here in the early 14th century, but there is no information about any cottages being in this area at that time. In 1586 the land now occupied by the school was rented out to Elizabeth Allayne, who probably used it for pasture.
  • By 1776 the land had become freehold and there are no details available about its use, but in 1841 it was still meadow. However, in 1841 there were two windmills on what is now School Lane.
  • It was not until the period 1901 to 1910 that development of School Lane properly began with the construction of some houses and the school.
  • Two of the test pits were sited at the foot of a steep slope below the school and one of them was to the western side of the school buildings. The soil profile in the pits is the same. The artefacts within them are well worn having been moved and eroded probably downhill under the influence of gravity and water. Evidence for this movement is found from the distribution of coal in the pits, which is abundant and found at all depths in the two pits below the school, but not in the one to the side.
  • Single sherds of Iron Age and Roman pottery were found. Elsewhere in Bingham Iron Age pottery tends to be found in clusters around homesteads, which might suggest that there was an Iron Age settlement nearby. The Romans, however, cultivated large areas of Bingham and isolated sherds of their pottery are likely to have been spread with manure during cultivation.
  • There were several types of medieval pottery dating from as early as 1100. Most of it was earlier than the Black Death in 1348-49 but it is unlikely that there were any houses hereabouts at this time. It is most likely that the pottery came here in manure. During the late 13th and early 14th centuries Bingham was highly cultivated and all the land that could be cultivated was in use. This is the most likely explanation for the medieval pottery found here. The fact that only two sherds for the period after the mid 14th C were found is a reflection of the much reduced level of farming activity in the whole of the parish after the plague.
  • After this there was nothing until the 18th C and little of that, seeming to confirm the documentary evidence that this patch of land was used mainly for pasture in this period.
  • There is almost as much Modern pottery as medieval, but taken in conjunction with the various miscellaneous items that date to the 19th and 20th centuries it does indicate an enhanced use of the area. The early 19th C windmills and the houses that were built along School Lane in the late 19th C and early 20th centuries would all have contributed to the level of rubbish generated in that time. The large amount of coal in the pits, probably from the school boiler, suggests that much of it was derived from the school.

Click here for a detailed account of the pits.

Back to Source

Home Page | About Us | Contact Us | Newsletter

Site developed by Ambrow Limited | Published by the Bingham Heritage Trails Association | All content is © BHTA

Back to
top of page