Monument record LVM 043 - Lavenham Press

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Evaluation trenches at the Lavenham Press revealed a sequence of features adjacent to Water Street belonging to the medieval and Post medieval periods.


Grid reference Centred TL 91772 49059 (100m by 87m)
Map sheet TL94NW


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

An archaeological evaluation conducted at the Lavenham Press during March 2004 revealed an intense use of the site during the medieval and post medieval periods. The site, to the South of Water Street, lies adjacent to the early 16th century culvert (see LVM 051). Documentary research has indicated that Lavenham was a centre of the wool processing industry and that this site might have been occupied by a dyehouse.
Near the NW corner of the site, a trench positioned close to the culvert revealed the corner of a flint and brick structure. This was associated with a circular brick built feature of probable late Med date. Burning near the base of this feature suggests it could have been a hearth, possibly with a large copper or dyebath above. A brick lined pit and drain running towards the culvert were of probable early post-medieval origin. It is likely that these were associated with wool production or other industrial processes.
Along the E edge of the site another trench revealed a concentration of features dating from the C14th onwards. Although no brick or obvious industrial features were uncovered, a collection of postholes and post pads indicates less permanent structures. This trench, and another positioned near the SW corner of the site, indicate a deep concentration of c.700mm hillwash. This probably points to the intensive ploughing and cultivation of this area prior to the extension of the village east of the church in the C13th.
Suggestion as possible Roger Ruggles dyeworks site refuted by extra-mural course student who researched the woollen cloth industry on Water Street as her dissertation. She belived that Ruggles occupied the site of the Priory and that the Lavenham Press site is where fulling was undertaken. She sees the conduit as a sewage system and suggested the circular brick structure was a horse mill (S3).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service evaluation report. Meredith, J., SCCAS. Evaluation report, 2004/65. April 2004.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Various. Breen, A., Freelance researcher. Documentary research. April 2004.
  • <S3> Verbal communication: Personal communication. Un-named per Loader T (SCCAS) to Pendleton C (SCCAS), Sept 2004.

Finds (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Jun 21 2021 10:32AM

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