Monument record BSE 204 - Land off Cotton Lane, Bury St Edmunds.

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Evaluation and excavation identified extensive quarrying exposed substantial amounts of waste from the Medieval town and Abbey(?), and a building as well as various drainage ditches, one of which contained the waterlogged remains of a wooden revetment.


Grid reference Centred TL 85694 64717 (148m by 190m)
Map sheet TL86SE


Type and Period (11)

Full Description

2002: Evaluation identified evidence of widespread quarrying during the Medieval period almost certainly of gravel from the river terrace exposed by a series of machine excavated trenches across the site of a proposed housing development off Cotton Lane. These areas were then used to dump substantial amounts of waste from the medieval town and Abbey(?). The corner of a building, constructed with flint and mortar foundations and including a buttress, was also uncovered on the edge of the floodplain. Close to this building and elsewhere on the site were elements of a complex network of ditches which seem to have been variously in use from the medieval period to the present (S1).

2004: A programme of archaeological work, using open area excavation, test pitting and trenching, was undertaken to further investigate these features. The test pitting allowed further analysis of the material remains deposited in the former quarry pits in the south-west corner of the development area. The recovered finds indicated a fairly wealthy deposit likely to be clearance from the town centre. The open area excavation and trenching allowed further investigation of the drainage ditches and the flint and mortar structural remains. The results suggest the network of drainage ditches, one of which contained the waterlogged remains of a wooden revetment, drained the area of the River Lark floodplain. This network varied over time with visible recutting and infilling of the ditches. Within the open area excavation the ditches were replaced by a series of banks followed by a flint and mortar wall and drain suggesting more intensive use on the western half of the site (S2).

Descriptions of flint finds are broad, dating to a specific period bracket is ill-advised (S3).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Tester, A.. 2002. Archaeological Evaluation Report, Land off Cotton Lane, Bury St Edmunds, BSE 204.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Duffy, J.. 2004. Archaeological Excavation Report, Land off Cotton Lane, Bury St Edmunds, BSE 204.
  • <S3> Personal Correspondence: Cutler, Hannah. 2019. Personal Observations as part of the Enhancement of the Suffolk HER for the Palaeolithic & Mesolithic Periods project.

Finds (34)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Jul 29 2020 3:06PM

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