St Mary’s Field Archaeological Dig 2013

St Mary’s Field- pre Application Archaeology Report

Summary by Kirstin Rayner Secretary GamArch and Parish Clerk

This report summarises the activities and findings of the dig in September 2013. Some interesting stuff- namely location/dimensions of a medieval building (1200-1500) at the top end of the site near to the location of the tythe barn and bungalows on St Marys, and evidence of blacksmithing in the vicinity from environmental samples (hammerscale deposits). Other 17th-19th century barn and associated demolition material was found closer to The Emplins approx. 25 metres inside the site.

Previously it was thought that a middle saxon settlement may exist on the field, however there was very limited sign of the field being occupied domestically at all. This is because there were very limited amounts of debris/rubbish found- just barns, and small amount of animal bones/evidence of grain storage. Pottery dated from mid 12th century-14th century and 17th -19th century. Some pottery has been identified as coming from the Everton kiln, a medieval kiln producing kitchenware /pots locally. Some interesting peg hole tiles ware found (17th century) and a significant proportion of medieval red tile which was depicted on the built structures in the 1602 Langdon map. All main finds have been returned to the Parish Council for safekeeping and are being stored in the office. The limited finds and ‘clean’ nature of the site may be viewed as a ‘disappointment’ for the archaeologists, but it is good news on progressing plans for the new cemetery.

Very little was found in the trenches over the rest of the field except a George III farthing coin (1775).

It is expected that an exclusion zone will be requested at the top end of the site to prevent burials/disturbance of the archaeological remains. This will mean that surface treatment for car park will be acceptable as long as it does not go deeper than 40cm for foundations (top soil only).

Official advice is yet to be received from County Archaeologists when they formally review the report and this will then feed into consultations in relation to the cemetery planning application.

Kirstin Rayner

The final comprehensive report which comprises a total of 35 pages is available to view or download by clicking here St Marys dig Final Report   This will open in a new page so close it when finished to return to the GamArch website.