Monument record BSE 493 - Medieval quarry pits, Guildhall Feoffment School

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Medieval quarry pits and post-medieval features at Guildhall Geoffment School, Bury St Edmunds.


Grid reference Centred TL 8550 6385 (85m by 66m)
Map sheet TL86SE


Type and Period (12)

Full Description

2015: Evaluation Trenches revealed a series of medieval quarry pits. Two post holes were also recorded and these may have been medieval or post medieval. Layers of post-medieval garden soil and a series of late post-medieval surface or levelling deposits sealed in features. Finds include Late Saxon, medieval and post-medieval pottery, medieval and post-medieval brick and tile, post-medieval window and bottle glass, slag, animal remains and oyster shell, and flint. Environmental samples produced evidence of cereal processing as well as wood charcoal and hammerscale residues (S1).

2017: Excavation following the evaluation trenching. The archaeological horizons remained well preserved in places. The preservation of medieval features only appears to have occurred where they were reasonable deep. Shallower features as well as any potential medieval occupation soils have been destroyed by post-medieval pits and levelling. Four sherds of Roman pottery and seven sherds of Late Saxon pottery form the earliest evidence from the site, recovered from later connecters. The first indication of more substantial occupation comes in the 11th-12th century, indicated by a larger pottery assemblage, an antler gaming counter and other finds. Into the 12th-14th centuries a number of quarry pits were excavated and a building of unspecified function with flint and mortar foundations was constructed. The majority of the pottery assemblage was of this period with associated bulk finds of animal bone, various land and sea mollusc remains, fired clay, roof and floor tile, mortar and lava stone. Following this the building appears to have been thoroughly demolished, being infilled with a range of domestic refuse and demolition material, the latter presumably derived from the structure itself. Further series of late medieval or post-medieval pits were then excavated and followed by a phase of definitively post-medieval pits and postholes (17th-c. 19th/20th century) with associated backfilling and other levelling dominating the site. An unusual assemblage of small finds were collected from the site including fragments of a medieval alabaster vessel which may have a religious association. One of the longest recorded copper-alloy chains in England was recovered and is thought to be late medieval and may also be of religious usage. A number of fragments of coloured medieval window glass and a lead window came were also recovered (S2).

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Brooks, R.. 2016. Archaeological Evaluation, Guildhall Feoffment Primary School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Brooks, R.. 2017. Archaeological Assessment Report: Guildhall Feoffment Primary School, Bury St Edmunds.

Finds (18)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

May 24 2018 1:07PM

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