Test Pit 19 - Flambards Green

This pit, together with test pits 7 and 8, was dug within an old moated area off Flambards Close that was once the site of a manor house.


The Finds

This pit produced a single sherd of Roman pottery, and single sherds of St Neots Ware and Stamford Ware dating to the late Anglo Saxon period. The High Medieval assemblage included large quantities of Medieval Shelly Ware, Medieval Sandy Ware, Hedingham Ware and Hertfordshire Greyware dating to the 12th-14th centuries. Three sherds of Late Medieval Ware and two sherds dating to the Victorian period were also found.

Other finds from this test pit included a metal screw and other metal nails and tacks, fragments of oyster and whelk shell, charcoal, stone, slate and a chalk spindle weight. The faunal assemblage included bones of cow, sheep/goat, pig, red deer, chicken, wader and a large collection of other unidentifiable remains from mostly sheep-sized animals.

As might be expected for a test pit excavated within the boundaries of a moated medieval manor site, test pit 19 produced exceptionally large quantities of medieval pottery including a range of different types and wares. Interestingly the deposition of pottery sherds virtually ceases in the Late Medieval period and the site appears to have been kept clean until the present-day housing estate was built in the 1970s. This strongly indicates a total abandonment of the moated manor site around the 14th century. Test pits 7 and 8 were also excavated within the confines of the moat and all three indicate an identical history, concluding with an apparent abandonment of the site in the late medieval period with no further deposition of dumping of waste at all.

Test pits 7 and 19 were both excavated in the eastern part of the moated site and both had very large quantities of pot, indicating intense activity and dumping in this part of the residential complex. By contrast, test pit 8 was dug in the western part and produced only eight sherds in total, reflecting different activity zones across the site.

For an overview of the site and finds, please click on the image of the exhibition poster which is the first image in the gallery below.

For detailed analysis of the finds, please see the results sheet for this pit, which is available as a download at the bottom of this page.

For reports and maps relating to all of the test pits, please see the documents available on our results page.


Site Diary

Day One

We had a good start to our dig by getting together early on Saturday morning and choosing our location. We measured and then when we started to dig through the top soil decided we had hit a pit that a builder had emptied a cement mixer in! We changed location and began digging. The first level brought up modern roof tile parts, brick and a row of teeth! The second level became interesting with some lovely pottery, lots of bone pieces and some glazed pottery. We stopped at level 5 and were still finding lots of pottery. We had lovely neighbours from no. 19 who came out with jugs of Pimms and an Indian curry, which was really tasty!

Day Two

Today we made an early start due to the heat. We had an interesting level 6 with lots of pottery, bone and shells. There were lots of helpers to sieve and wash all the items found. Several children helped and the neighbours from no. 19 joined us today. We had a slower level 7 with fewer items found and we thought we were approaching a natural finish. We were right: levels 8 & 9 produced nothing of any interest as were were getting more and more clay in the soil.  We made a decision to stop at level 9, have a rest for lunch then fill in the pit and watch tennis [Andy Murray winning Wimbledon]!


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