Monument record LVM 080 - Late medieval to early post medieval dyeing workshop at The Swan Hotel

Please read our .


Late medieval and early post medieval dyeing workshop identified during evaluation trenching and excavation at the Swan Hotel. The dyeing workshop was preceeded by 13th to 14th century quarrying and refuse pits and followed by scattered post medieval post holes and pits.


Grid reference Centred TL 915 492 (19m by 20m)
Map sheet TL94NW


Type and Period (27)

Full Description

Feb 2013: Evaluation trenching revealed a series of medieval and early post-medieval pits and layers. These features produced pottery, roof tile, brick and animal bone. The layers are thought to represent both occupation and demolition episodes. Several medieval and post medieval postholes and walls were also recorded on site, which indicated at least four separate structures from various phases (S1).

Oct-Nov 2013: A full excavation was carried out following the evaluation trenching. Six phases of activity were identified from the archaeological remains across two terraced property plot with occupation from the 13th century into the post medieval period. The first phase of activity is represented by quarrying and refuse pits dated to the 13th and 14th century. These features were overlaid by various backyard workshop structures that enclosed ten furnaces thought to relate to the dyeing process. In the upper area of the site there were two more furnaces and a large channel that functioned as a water source for the dyeing process. The features related to dyeing are dated to the late medieval and early post medieval period. This phase of activity was followed by scattered post-medieval postholes and pits, suggesting a complete decline in the previous industrial activity (aligned with the economic blight that hit Lavenham after the wool trade collapsed). Environmental samples indicated that the site was initially open grassland prior to its incorporation into a yard and workshops, after which point it was kept relatively clear of refuse and vegetation until the decline of the industrial activity, at which point it became overgrown (S2).

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Brooks, R. 2013. Archaeological Evaluation Report: The Swan Hotel, Lavenham.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Brooks, R. 2014. Post-Excavation Assessment Report: The Swan Hotel, Lavenham.

Finds (29)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Apr 13 2016 10:47AM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.