Monument record IPS 639 - Student Village, Fore Street, Ipswich, (IAS 5908).

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Evaluation identified a cemetery thought to be associated with the 'lost' church or chapel known as Ostirbolt and the remains of medieval and post-medieval buildings.


Grid reference Centred TM 1673 4417 (108m by 114m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (21)

Full Description

2002: Desk Based Assessment.

2010: Desk Based Assessment.

2011: Evaluation, Student Village, Fore Street, Ipswich: An evaluation by trial trenching was carried out on the proposed site of a Student Village development to the west of Fore Street, Ipswich. Ten trenches (total area 195m2) were excavated, representing 4% of the area of the site that was available for evaluation. The natural stratum was glaciofluvial sand and gravel, sloping down from northeast to southwest, towards the River Gipping; it was overlaid in places by a prehistoric buried soil horizon.Occupation of the site in the prehistoric period was represented principally by a pit containing Neolithic–earlier Bronze Age worked flints and a ditch containing decorated pottery of a similar date. There was little evidence for the use of the site in the Roman period, and Anglo-Saxon occupation was indicated principally by moderate amounts of Ipswich ware and a larger quantity of Thetford ware, mostly occurring as residual finds in later features. During the medieval period much of the site was used as a cemetery, which is thought to have been that of the ‘lost’ church or chapel known (from a single medieval reference) as Ostirbolt. A total of thirteen burials were identified in the south-western, northern and eastern parts of the site. The corner of a postulated timber building, represented by beam slots and adjacent post holes, was identified near the centre of the site. It is likely that this building was contemporary with the cemetery, if not earlier. Other significant evidence for medieval activity included dumping for land reclamation along the southern edge of the site, in what must have previously been the inter-tidal zone of the river, and the subsequent construction of a waterfront building, represented by a flint and septaria foundation. The cellars of at least two Tudor buildings (one of which has been identified from early maps as a malt house) were found along the southern frontage of the site, representing the intensive development of Key Street by merchants in the early post-medieval period, (S1).

See also (S3, S4).

2016: An archaeological desk based assessment was undertaken in advance of any proposal to re-develop the PDA. The results of this DBA suggest there is a very high potential for encountering
archaeological remains throughout the PDA dating from the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods. These remains include human burials, pottery kilns, waterfront deposits and buildings and settlement evidence. Due to the location of the PDA close to the river there is the potential for waterlogged material and environmental evidence to survive. Archaeological interventions within and adjacent to the PDA have demonstrated that there is good preservation of archaeological deposits and these can be as little as 0.5m below the present ground surface. Trial trenching undertaken in 2011 revealed limited prehistoric and Late Saxon activity but did confirm the presence of significant medieval
activity, which includes a potentially large number of inhumations across much of the south-western, northern and eastern areas of the PDA. An excavation undertaken in the northwest corner of the PDA revealed extensive medieval activity but this is yet to be fully published. Due to the probable shallow nature of the overburden within the PDA and to the very high potential for Anglo-Saxon and medieval archaeological remains including burials to be encountered, any development that involves any ground disturbance (grubbing out foundations, digging foundations, piling, services, landscaping / earth moving) will have a negative effect on any below ground archaeological material and the impact could be considerable. Therefore any development of the PDA that disturbs the ground surface
will need to be mitigated against. (S5)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • --- Unpublished document: Breen, A and Loader, T.. 2002. Archaeological Desk Based Assessment - BOCM Pauls (island site), Ipswich.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Heard, K. 2011. Archaeological Evaluation Report, Student Village, Fore Street, Ipswich.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Rolfe, J. 2010. Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment: Proposed Student Village, Fore Street, Ipswich.
  • <S3> Index: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. 1974. Ipswich Archaeological Survey Card Index (digital version).. IAS 5908.
  • <S4> Index: Suffolk Archaeology Unit. 1974. SAU index card and Archive. IAS 5908.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Rolfe, J. and Sommers, M.. 2016. Desk-Based Assessment: Merchant Quarter, Fore Street, Ipswich.

Finds (29)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (12)

Related Events/Activities (7)

Record last edited

May 3 2023 10:26AM

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