Monument record BSE 183 - High Baxter Street (site of former Suffolk Hotel car park), Bury St Edmunds, (Prehistoric-Post Medieval).

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Excavation recorded evidence of medieval buildings, pits, Great Fire of Bury and 7th century burial. Also significant quantity of Bury wares.


Grid reference Centred TL 85396 64261 (31m by 16m)
Map sheet TL86SE


Type and Period (6)

Full Description

2001: The construction of housing on the former car park of the Suffolk Hotel resulted in an excavation along this medieval street. The earliest remains on the site were of a burial which has been C14 dated, BP 1350+ or - 50 (cal to AD 651-689), which appears to have been isolated. A 7th century buckle was found with the burial. The next phase of activity dates to the 11-14th centuries with evidence of posthole buildings along the street front with clay walls and pits filled with rubbish in backyard areas. A well-made late medieval flint and mortar drain is associated with a range of timber buildings which were constructed using dwarf flint and mortar walls. These buildings were all lost in the Great Fire of 1608, which destroyed the street and only stopped just short of Abbeygate Street. Excavation of the debris revealed the impressions left by floor tiles, which wre recovered after the fire, and burnt malt suggesting part of the site was occupied by a maltings. The site was then levelled before new buildings were constructed, one of which contained a subtantial vaulted cellar. Much of the site was occupied by a warehouse buillt in the 19th century and recently demolished (S1).

A desk-based assessment recorded that the site was partly covered by a warehouse which was built in the late 18th century over the site of a small dwellings and stables. One of these dwellings was occupied in the early 19th century by the Reffell family who were clay pipe makers. Other parts of the site have been used by staymakers, shoe makers and tailors all of whom would have been able to carry out their occupations within their homes. There is a break in the documentray sources between 1546 and the late 17th century. In the late medieval period it is possible to identify some fo the residents of the street and link the town rental back to the 15th century. In the 15th century the properties were listed all on on the western side of the street. The earliest rental of 1295 names the street as "Eldbaxster" and it is of interest to not that it wal called old even at that date (S2).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Tester, A. 2002. HIGH BAXTER STREET.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Breen, A.. 2000. Desk-Based Assessment: High Baxter Street, Bury St Edmunds.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: 2000. Ground Investigation Report, High Baxter Street,.

Finds (29)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Nov 29 2022 1:31PM

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