An archaeological monitoring was carried out on the excavation of foundations prior to the construction of a small extension to the rear of Willow Cottage, Mellis Green, Mellis, Eye, Suffolk. The development lies within an area of archaeological interest and is situated on the edge of a medieval green, recorded in the County Historic Environment Records as (MLS 011), therefore there is high potential for encountering medieval occupation deposits. It was possible that ground works associated with this development could cause significant disturbance to any archaeological deposits that exist.
The ground works consisted of strip footings, machine excavated to a depth of 1.4m. The footprint of the new building covered an area 4.2m by 4.7m and the topsoil within the footprint was stripped to a depth of approximately 0.3m, removing all the topsoil. The footings were examined during a single site visit by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service, Field Projects Team.
A layer of topsoil overburden 0.3m deep was visible in the upper section of all trenches, (0001) is a clayey loam containing occasional small fragments of ceramic building materials and flint pebbles. (0001) is likely to represent limited occupation debris and garden soil build up associated with the current property. Below this, extending to a depth of 0.5m was the first of two subsoils, (0002) was a dark grey brown clay and below this (0003) a grey blue clay containing frequent chalk nodules and extending to a depth of 1.1m. These layers all sat on a natural mid grey-brown chalky clay which was present in the bottom 0.3m of all the trenches. The only manmade intrusion present within the footings was a 19th century brick drains running east-west through the footprint of the extension.
The soil profile was consistent throughout the footings examined. Within the restricted area of these trenches no archaeological features were observed. The up-cast spoil from the excavations was examined, no dateable archaeological finds were recovered. Natural subsoil was encountered at a minimum depth of 0.4m below the existing ground level. Its maximum depth was not observed. Digital photographs were taken during this site visit as an archive record.
Despite the site’s sensitive location no archaeological finds or features were encountered.