List of Test Pits


  • The pit site was on the North open field in 1586 and is sited on a strip that was farmed by Thomas Dyrrie.
  • The land probably became freehold at the time of the general enclosure in 1680-90, but it remained agricultural until the late 19th C, although two windmills were built along what is now School Lane in the period between 1776 and 1841. The pit site sits between them.
  • By 1883 the gardens behind the houses along Fairfield Street to the south of School Lane had become lengthened westwards to the boundary of the freehold that had been defined at the time of enclosure. It is possible that this actually happened in around 1840 after the tithe survey, but before publication of the map. Thereafter the land was cultivated as a garden or an orchard. The present house was built in the 1960s.
  • The history of this site as being agricultural or horticultural is reflected in the archaeology. Modern finds, including brick, were found at all depths suggesting regular turning of the soil during cultivation.
  • The topsoil is 37cm thick, but with a textural and slight colour change at around 18 cm. The subsoil below lies on red-brown sandy clay, thought to be glacial in origin. A shallow channel in the basal clay is thought to be natural. It is filled with subsoil.
  • The oldest pottery found is Midland Yellow Ware with a range of c1575 to 1700, but the strongest signature is from 18th C pottery. One piece of glass from the subsoil is a heavy, nearly black fragment of an onion wine bottle, likely to be 17th or 18th C. There is also a piece of very thin (1/16th inch) coloured glass also likely to be early. None of the pottery dates from before the time when the land was known to be arable (1586), therefore giving no indication of land-use before that time.
  • Finds in the topsoil reflect on the building phase attributed to the 1960s and include 1/8th inch window glass and brick pieces that match the current building.
  • None of the finds was recorded in sufficient quantity to be present other than in manure scatters. There is no evidence of there being a rubbish tip here, nor was anything found that was specific to the windmills. 

Click here for a detailed account of the pit.

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