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Land West of London Road, Beccles, Suffolk

Mason, Neal (2019) Land West of London Road, Beccles, Suffolk. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Between the 29th of April and the 10th of May 2019 Oxford Archaeology East carried out a 63-trench evaluation on land west of London Road, Beccles, Suffolk (TM 420 889, Fig. 1). The proposed residential development area comprised c.9ha of grassed agricultural land on the south-western edge of Beccles, bounded by London Road to the east and Ringsfield Road to the west.
A low level of archaeological remains were encountered across the site, with evidence for at least one phase of a rectilinear ditch system, broadly aligned north to south and east to west, of a likely post-medieval date. The geophysical survey showed that the site was divided into four fields, and historic maps confirmed that this division was in use during the 19th century, and may well have been post-medieval in origin. This ditch system is interpreted as being associated with a pastoral land use of the site with its roots stretching back into at least the post-medieval period. The presence of a possible watering hole/trough, and the general lack of post-medieval finds support this interpretation. The few finds from these ditches were medieval in date, but most likely represent a residual assemblage redeposited in post-medieval features.
Three ditches were also revealed in the south-western quadrant which, whilst they produced small quantities of medieval pottery similar to that found in the principle ditch system, were aligned differently, and may represent a different phase or type of land use.
Also revealed were 19 sub-circular pits, distributed across the site with no discernible patterns or groupings. Only two of these features contained dateable finds, in the form of a single sherd of medieval pottery and a single fragment of post-medieval CBM, although several contained charcoal in varying quantities. No firm conclusions about their function were drawn, but while the possibility of a prehistoric origin cannot be ruled out, the presence of similar finds to the ditch system implies that they were also related to the post-medieval pastoral activity.
Two features hinted at a possible earlier phase of activity, in the form of a curvilinear ditch in the south-western corner of the site and a broadly east to west aligned ditch which appeared to be truncated by one of the post-medieval boundaries. No finds were recovered from these features, leaving their function and date unknown.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Evaluation, evaluation, archaeological evaluation, Suffolk, suffolk, Beccles, beccles, Medieval, medieval, Post-Medieval, post-medieval, Post Medieval, post medieval, Pottery, pottery, Medieval pottery, medieval pottery, Post-Medieval pottery, post-medieval pottery, Post Medieval pottery, post medieval pottery, ditch, ditches, boundary ditch, boundary ditches, extractive pit, pit, pits, extractive pits, burnt flint, worked flint, worked flints, lithic, lithics, lithic implement, clay pipe, CBM, cbm, ceramic building material, Ceramic Building Material, Ecofact, ecofact, Ecofacts, ecofacts, 2332, report 2332, Report 2332, OAE report 2332
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Suffolk
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Hamilton
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2019 13:51
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2019 13:51
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/4964

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