Test Pit 21: Vicarage Lane
28th June 2014
By Martin Cuthbert
Test Pit 21 was located on the north side of Vicarage lane, just south of “Castle Mound”, a scheduled ancient monument. The test pit is located at the rear of a 19th century property.
The purpose of the castle mound is still unknown. Was it a Medieval motte and bailey castle? A prehistoric or Saxon burial mound? We hoped this test pit could answer these questions.
A huge depth of soil was encountered and the natural geology wasn’t reached, but a small number of pottery sherds were discovered.
A single large sherd of Roman pottery was retrieved from a modern buried topsoil deposit (078). The sherd suggests the site is on the edge of Roman settlement activity. Saxo-Norman pottery and High Medieval pottery from the modern topsoil deposit (076) and made ground deposit (077) may have been bought onto site, however their clean unworn condition suggests they are from the site itself.
The pottery assemblage indicates that the site has been in use from the late Saxon period through to the later medieval period. There is little evidence of activity after AD1600 until the Victorian period, when the current house was constructed on the site.
A single sherd of Roman pottery and only three sherds of Saxon pottery suggest the “Castle Mound” isn’t of either date. However we didn’t get down deeper enough through the made ground deposit where potentially more Roman or Saxon pottery could be located. This site may be one we definitely need to come back too.