Monument record BSE 207 - Green King Access Road

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Excavation identified peat accumulated between AD 230 and AD440 and AD760 and AD990, a footpath along the side of the Black Ditch.


Grid reference Centred TL 8554 6339 (33m by 54m)
Map sheet TL86SE


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

2004: During the construction of a road linking the Greene King brewery on Westgate Street with Cullum Road, a section was excavated through the Friars Lane footpath, the ditch on the western side and partially through the eastern ditch, known as the Black Ditch. The section revealed an earlier gravel footpath c.0.5m below, with a Terminus Post Quem of the late medieval period as a horseshoe was sealed by the path. The Black Ditch cut the earlier footpath but as the ditch was probably re-dug and cleaned many times during the course of maintenance it cannot be used to date the origin of this feature which is thought to pre-date the footpath. Evidence to support this is provided by a silt deposit sealed by the footpath, but apparently unrelated, which is likely to be material upcast from an earlier cut of the Black Ditch. Radiocarbon dates from the peat beneath the footpath suggest it accumulated between AD230 and AD440 for the lower sample and AD760 and AD990 for the upper sample, although the upper layer may have been truncated thereby foreshortening the peat sequence. We can infer wetter conditions developed along the valley floor in the Late Roman/Early Saxon period causing the growth of peat and a further change to even wetter conditions in the Middle to Late Saxon period is suggested in the pollen assessment. It showed an open landscape with managed woodland and damp pasture, which was relatively free of vegetation. This changed, however, possibley around 600AD, and the land became even wetter with tall aquatic plants, possibly hedges and cereal crops being grown close by. This may represent water management of the meadows following the foundation of the Anglo-Saxon town and Abbey (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Tester, A.. 2004. Archaeological Excavation and Assessment Report, Green King Access Road, Bury St Edmunds, BSE 207.

Finds (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 6 2018 11:38AM

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