Monument record BUN 040 - Late Saxon to Medieval settlement and Medieval town defences at Keep Rise (The Old Bus Station), Priory Lane (Preh)

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Evidence of Late Saxon to Early medieval settlement and medieval town defences, motar and flint foundations were seen at the bottom of a robber pit which could have been a gateway or a bastion.


Grid reference Centred TM 33592 89584 (47m by 70m)
Map sheet TM38NW


Type and Period (20)

Full Description

1998: Evaluation revealed a range of features, from possible Middle or Late Saxon pits, predating the castle, to medieval pits and ditches probably contemporary with the castle occupation. The features include pits, ditches and postholes present across the site which is the area between the town bank and the outer bailey. Pottery in the area suggests that some of the features are possibly Mid-Saxon and others Late Saxon/Early Medieval, pre-dating the castle. However, most of the features appear to be medieval, several of which relate to each other indicating continuous occupation. A late medieval/early post-medieval wall built from reused limestone blocks, possibly from an ecclesiastical building dismantled during the Dissolution, or from the castle or town walls as their importance declined. The absence of weathering on the blocks suggests that they may have been from the interior. Pottery from the soil layers supports a 16th century date. A homogeneous soil layer was seen under the wall and a small number of medieval finds were recovered from in, including animal bone, pottery and oyster shell. This layer overlies most of the archaeological features. A gravel deposit was also identified which lies in the location of the town bank and is possibly earlier than 15th/16th century, and may be the remains of the town bank (S1).

2000: Monitoring uncovered further evidence of early medieval settlement and the town defences. Late Neolithic and Ironage pottery and flint were recovered. Ipswich ware and Thetford ware pottery were recovered suggesting Middle Saxon and Late Saxon/ early medieval activity along with ditches and post holes. Evidence of a possible timber building was seen possibly early medieval/medieval. The most significant find was the massive mortar and flint foundations located at the bottom of a pit which suggests that this was a robber pit. The building could have been a gateway or a bastion. Evidence of late medieval defences were seen, the latest defensive feature was a polygonal earthwork which probably dates from the mid 16th century. A number of clay-packed postholes dotted across the top of the bank were seen which may be associated with a livestock market. The wall seen the the evaluation was also seen during the monitroing, it was 0.35m wide and 0.85m high. The excavations did not dislodge the wall and the length of wall beneath building 8 has been reinforced by concrete. (S1).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Caruth, J.. 1998. Archaeological Evaluation Report, Eastern Counties Bus Depot, Priory Lane, Bungay.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Tester, A.. 2000. Archaeological Monitoring Report, Keep Rise (The Old Bus Station), Priory Lane, Bungay.
  • <S3> Article in serial: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. PSIAH 39 (3), p.366.

Finds (31)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 13 2018 3:30PM

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