Monument record IPS 661 - Burials at St Mary at the Quay, Ipswich.

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Excavation identified burials dating from the Middle Saxon period to the post-medieval period and a Middle Saxon midden deposit.


Grid reference Centred TM 1653 4408 (3m by 3m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (10)

Full Description

2012: An archaeological evaluation was conducted for Suffolk Mind ahead of a proposal to redevelop the redundant church of St Mary at the Quay, Key Street, Ipswich, Suffolk including the construction of a new extension to the east end of the church. A trench measuring 3m by 2m was excavated through the archaeological sequence to test the archaeological remains and density of burials present at the site. A total of eleven articulated burials were located within the trench which range in date from Middle Saxon to late post-medieval. Near the present street frontage a metalled deposit may represent an earlier surface of what is now Key Street. A clay and chalk deposit also located near the street frontage may represent a floor associated with a medieval building. Dumped midden deposits of Middle Saxon date were located near the base of the trench probably in a marsh environment which may have been periodically inundated with water from the tidal estuary. The deposits were probably laid down as part of an attempt at land reclamation close to the Saxon foreshore. An unconventionally aligned and positioned skeleton was found within the midden deposits. It was unclear as to whether the skeleton was associated with an earlier graveyard or whether the body was dumped or possibly washed up on the foreshore. A possible Late Glacial-Early Holocene soil was recorded sealing the natural sand (S1).

2015: Excavation of the footprint of the new extension revealed a sequence of activity beginning with refuse and midden material in the Anglo-Saxon period. The deposits, probably laid down as part of an attempt at land reclamation close to the Saxon foreshore, showed evidence of being periodically inundated with water from the tidal estuary. The midden material was overlain by a burial ground associated with the 15-16th-century church. One hundred and twenty articulated burials were excavated along with a further c. 184 individuals from charnel pits. A number of extra-mural burial vaults were also recorded and in some cases demolished. Flint and mortar wall foundations revealed during the internal works probably represent elements of an earlier church on the site (S2).

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Boyle M. 2012. Archaeological Evaluation Report, St Mary's church, Ipswich.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Boyle M. 2015. Archaeological Excavation and Monitoring report with updated project design, St Mary at Quay Church, Key Street, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Finds (24)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Sep 26 2023 1:19PM

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