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Post-Medieval Occupation at Land north of West Street, Coggeshall

Ladd, Stuart (2016) Post-Medieval Occupation at Land north of West Street, Coggeshall. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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In May 2016, Oxford Archaeology East undertook an evaluation at Land north of West Street, Coggeshall, TL 844 227. The south of the site is bounded by West Street, on the line of Stane Street Roman Road. Thirty-six evaluation trenches were opened over the course of two weeks.
The earliest activity encountered was in the form of a prehistoric pit containing possibly Late Bronze Age pottery and fragments of an Early Iron Age vessel within a natural feature, potentially a stream bed or spring head.
Residual Roman activity was indicated by a single rim sherd from the same natural feature and possible Roman bricks and tiles in features at both at the eastern and southern edges of the site. No burials were encountered, despite being recorded in the vicinity and the possible cropmarks on site were not uncovered.
Earlier Medieval sherds were recovered from ditches and pits in a trench at the eastern edge of the site, close to Robin's Brook and residually in deposits close to West Street. A 13th century silver penny was recovered from a later context.
Later Medieval activity was evidenced in pits and possible ditches close to West Street, however, this was potentially obscured by the denser 16th century activity.
A number of 16th century pits of varying sizes were found in Trench 36 with a possible plot boundary ditch in Trench 34. An interesting assemblage of bird (fowl) bones was recorded, predominantly “waste” after processing. The presence of turkey bones gives a post-1541 date for some of these features, and, mixed with duck, chicken and goose bones (the non-meat-bearing remnant legs and skulls) along with chafing dishes, point to some specialised food preparation and cooking activities, possibly on a commercial basis. These features most likely represent activity of a house fronting onto West Street several metres to the south. Similar discoveries were made at previous excavations across the road at The Vineyard site.
Larger areas on the southern slopes of the site were truncated by activity in the 18th or 19th century. A house and garden depicted on 19th century maps in the south-east of site were evidently thoroughly demolished, resulting in a large quantity of CBM being present in the surrounding soils. At the north of the site, large areas of truncation were caused by clay extraction for the brick works there in the 19th century. An unusual field drain filled with horn-cores was found, no doubt deriving from the tannery that operated c200m to the west at the time (shown on 1875 OS map).
Modern backfilled field boundaries were recorded across the north of the site. These are most likely responsible for the crop marks recorded there. Other crop marks targeted by trenching did not appear to be archaeological and may represent geological variations

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeological evaluation, essex, coggeshall, medieval, post-medieval, bronze age, iron age, turkey, CBM, tile, brick, pottery, modern field drains, tannery, horn cores, cooking, clay extraction, commercial cooking
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Essex
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Modern 1901 - present
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Chris Faine
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 10:52
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 10:52
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/2931

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