Ipswich UAD child record record IPS 1233 - Well 3218

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Roman Well


Grid reference Centred TM 1530 4454 (5m by 6m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Initially thought to be a Early Saxon Sunken Featured Building (SFB), well 3218 was represented at the surface by a 4.5 metres in diameter circular feature with two protruding lobes to the north-west and south-east. Manual excavation was undertaken within the north-west quadrant of the feature down to a depth of 1.4 metres, that which could safely be managed without recourse to shoring. The lobe on the north-west side was found to be 0.6 metres in depth with a stepped profile. The function of this and the similar feature on the opposite side is unclear, but it seem likely that it was either to help in the construction of the well or performed a role during its use. The fill of the lobe was continuous with one of the main well fills which suggests that it was open as a feature prior to the redundancy and filling of the feature, although any removal of well timbers would have caused disruptions to the surrounding fill.
A JCB mechanical excavator was used to excavate the waterlogged base of the well down to a depth of 2.3 metres (Plate 2). While it was impossible to tell whether this was the bottom, timbers were pulled up by the machine bucket at this juncture.

The fill of the well exhibited clear stratification with a homogenous very dark grey/brown upper fill with a maximum thickness of 0.8 metres overlying a series of lighter brown, sandier stonier components, with the basal layers comprising relatively clean sands and gravels.
The inclusion of the well in Period II.a. was based on a combination of factors as the artefactual evidence was not straightforward. The dark loam upper fill almost certainly represented a cone of subsided material derived from the overlying occupation layer which included material from throughout the Roman Period and also Early Anglo Saxon finds. However, the ceramic finds from the lowermost machined fills suggested that the well may have been in use into the 2nd century with the structural timbers themselves indicating an early Roman date, (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Boulter, S.. 2005. Handford Road, Ipswich (IPS 280). Archaeological Assessment Report (Volume 1: Text), (Ex Firmin's Site)..

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

May 17 2017 2:59PM

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