Monument record LCS 150 - Medieval Settlement at Sizewell, Leiston

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Medieval Settlement with evidence of industrial activity on edge of Settlement


Grid reference Centred TM 471 626 (214m by 121m)
Map sheet TM46SE


Type and Period (10)

Full Description

2014: An open area excavation of 3,700sqm was completed at Sizewell, the once burgeoning medieval market town which has been reduced to a fishing hamlet by erosion and inundations by the sea. The archaeological features represented the pinnacle of the settlement's westerly expansion, which peaked at the turn of the 14th century, and attested to a period of 'industrial' activity centred on a freshwater marsh. The site produced evidence of workshop-type buildings, ovens, timber-lined wells and sunken water-tanks together with a large assemblage of finds. The cut-off in the archaeological record occurs during the first half of the 14th century; this is abrupt and coincides closely with what is historically the start of Sizewell's decline. The finds assemblages reflected beach hinterland location and included fishing equipment (hooks, weights, and possible net fragments) along with the bones of both freshwater and marine fish species. Of particular pertinence to this coastal milieu was the discovery of sections of planking from a small inshore boat; 6-9m long. The boat's timbers were sourced from Ireland and were from trees felled between AD1241 and AD1266. In addition to the archaeological evidence, there is an unusually complete set of medieval land records which date back to the period, and include the area, sampled by the excavations and which indicate that the land to the west of the town was divided into a high proportion of small copyholds. The site, together with the neighbouring excavations (LCS148), has provided a relatively large sample across several medieval plots (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Breen, A., Gill, D. and Goffin, R.. 2014. Post-Excavation Assessment Report, Leiston Substation 132kv Cable Route , Sizewell.

Finds (44)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Apr 13 2018 1:11PM

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