Monument record EYE 083 - Hartismere High School, Eye (Saxon) (Sax)

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Excavation identified a Saxon settlement with evidence of trade, metal, antler, bone and textile working.


Grid reference Centred TM 1378 7394 (353m by 175m)
Map sheet TM17SW


Type and Period (8)

Full Description

Excavated in advance of the construction of a new playing field on a south-facing slope in the Dove valley. Nineteen Early Saxon ‘sunken featured buildings’ (SFBs) were identified, ranging in size from 2.5m x 2m to 5.5m x 4.5m, and with a variety of forms and structures. Central to the group of SFBs were two posthole buildings, the dates of which are still to be confirmed: a rectangular building 9.2m long x 6m wide and a long aisled building 17.4m long x 5.4m wide. The aisled building had eight paired arcade posts, with the outer wall lines formed from closely spaced small postholes. Fourteen rectangular burnt flint, or fire-reddened stone filled features were also found, these are at present undated but appeared to be associated with the SFBs. In the extreme S.E. corner of the site a small pit was found containing in situ drip slag, the result of iron ore smelting on the margins of the site. Early Saxon finds from the site included pottery, objects associated with textile working, dress accessories and a vast amount of butchered animal bone. Post-excavation work is at a very early stage but initial interpretations suggest that both domestic and industrial activities were being undertaken here.
A cobbled surface with narrow wheel ruts, probably a sunken track within a deep linear hollow, passed close to the end of the aisled building. This ran down the slope towards the valley floor, the hollow had become infilled with brown colluvium and systematic metal detector surveys recovered a wealth of Saxon small finds from these deposits and extensive dump deposits of animal bone and Early Saxon pottery were visible on the surface. The south end of the trackway was removed by a cluster of intercutting pits which were partly overlain deposit of partially articulated animal (mainly pig and cow) remains. Initial interpretations are that these are all Saxon in date. The southern edge of the site extended 10m into the valley floor and the floodplain of the river where deep deposits of dark silts were found, the precise dating for this sequence of deposits has yet to be established, (Details S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Caruth J & Goffin R. 2012. Post-Excavation Assessment Report, Hartismere High School Playing Fields, Eye.

Finds (33)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Dec 6 2022 1:02PM

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