Monument record IPS 446 - Cranfields Mill, Ipswich, (IAS 6405).

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Gravelly/silty layers containing Thetford type wares to west of Medieval cellared building suggest deposition to raise ground level during Mid-Late Saxon period.


Grid reference Centred TM 1646 4405 (47m by 26m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (14)

Full Description

2004: Evaluation; trenches revealed gravelly/silty layers containing Thetford Ware (exclusively) to west of Medieval cellared building suggest deposition to raise ground level during Mid-Late Saxon period. Saxon pottery from site listed as 52 sherds Thetford ware, 1 Early Saxon, and 7 sherds of Ipswich Ware (5 gritty, 2 sandy, (S1). The stubs of a series of standing walls and associated floor levels were recorded within the trenches, evidence of medieval and early Post-Medieval buildings that once stood on the site. The top of the archaeological levels was within 25-30cm of the present surface at the eastern end of the site whereas at the eastern end the archaeological levels had been truncated by the construction of a 19th century building. The Medieval and early Post-Medieval building evidence overlay earlier stratified deposits and demonstrates that a rich sequence of archaeological deposits survives within this area.

2005: Excavation; Following on from the excavation of a late-medieval cellared building there was an opportunity to examine earlier river-edge deposits and a buried stream channel that flowed down to the Orwell from the town. Excavation at the river edge yielded a ‘boardwalk’ type structure constructed of a series of driven piles. Post-excavation work is currently ongoing, so this has yet to be accurately dated, but preliminary finds evidence shows that the structure was sealed by substantial reclamation deposits of 11th to 13th century date. Dendrochronology samples are currently in the laboratory and it is hoped that the results will confirm a Saxon date for the structure. Excavation of the buried soil proved it to be unexpectedly substantial at almost 2m deep. A notable fill of this channel was a peat layer c.0.5m thick which produced finds of late 1st- to 2nd-century AD date. This immediately overlay a high-energy river deposit, and tantalisingly suggests the possibility of Roman management of the stream. The lower 1m of fills below this peat layer are therefore thought to be of prehistoric date, but produced no significant finds during this phase of the excavation. Further work will take place when the existing buildings on the site have been demolished, (S2, S3).

See also (S4, S5).

2006: Excavation, plans and mapinfo on record. Report waiting, assumed because of funding issues.

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Gill, David. 2004. Evaluation report. Cranfields Mill., Ipswich.
  • <S2> Article in serial: Martin, E.A., Pendleton, C. & Plouviez, J.. 2005. Archaeology in Suffolk 2004. XXXXI (1).
  • <S3> Article in serial: Martin, E.A., Pendleton, C. & Plouviez, J.. 2006. Archaeology in Suffolk 2005. XXXXI (2).
  • <S4> Index: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. 1974. Ipswich Archaeological Survey Card Index (digital version).. IAS 6405.
  • <S5> Index: Suffolk Archaeology Unit. 1974. SAU index card and Archive. IAS 6405.

Finds (26)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (11)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Aug 18 2017 2:07PM

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