Ipswich UAD child record record IPS 1222 - Well 0252

Please read our .


Middle Saxon Well


Grid reference Centred TM 1629 4416 (2m by 2m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

The well pit was 2.5m in diameter, at the top, and 2.8m deep, tapering in width towards the bottom. A central shaft (0332), 70cm in diameter, survived below 1.2m from the surface and was 1.6m deep. The water table was reached at 2.3m down and the lower 50cm was lined with a barrel, comprising 19 individual wooden staves (0697). A horizontal indentation in each of the staves, some 4cm from their base, indicated the position of the base of the barrel, which had been removed prior to reuse in the well. Although all of the staves were removed, excavation of the base of the well was not possible due to the continued collapse of the shaft fill below the water table.
Precise dating of the well is unclear. Dendro dating of the barrel staves indicated that the latest stave analysed was from a tree felled after 754, and allowing for the possibilities of missing heartwood and sapwood and for its length of service as a wine barrel "it is unlikely that the well would have been lined until the late 8th-early 9th century" (Hillam 1989). It also showed a high correlation with German chronologies i.e. it was a Rhenish barrel.
The top 1.2m of the well fill (layers 0252, 0255, 0308) was clearly fill of a subsidence hole above the shaft and included pottery as late as the 11th century. Only the finds from the central shaft (0332 and 0696) are a reliable indicator of its abandonment period (20 sherds of Ipswich ware). The well pit was cut by ELS pit 0324 which confirms the likely MS date of the well, (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Wade, K. 2014. Ipswich Archive Site Summaries, Site name: St Peter's Street.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

May 17 2017 10:33AM

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.