Test Pit 20 - 32 High Street
This pit was located in an orchard across the railway line, not far from Meldreth Station and close to a former footpath. Old maps show no evidence of occupation on the site.
The diverse pottery assemblage from this pit included 11 Bronze Age sherds, three Romano-British sherds, 16 sherds of St Neots Ware dating to the late Anglo Saxon period, Medieval Sandy Ware, Hedingham Ware and Hertfordshire Greyware dating to the 12th-14th centuries and seven Victorian-era sherds.
The other finds included glass, plastic fireworks containers, brick, fragments of oyster shell and large quantities of unworked flint. This pit produced the largest assemblage of knapped flints from the Meldreth test pitting project, comprising one primary flake, 11 secondary flakes and eight tertiary flakes, and the relatively large quantities of worked flint from the pit indicate some potential for substantial lithic scatters to be located in this area. The faunal assemblage included bones of cow, sheep/goat and some other unidentifiable remains.
Excavated in the far SE corner of the modern distribution of housing in Meldreth, Test Pit 20 produced a surprisingly rich and diverse assemblage of pottery indicating past settlement in this vicinity. This commenced some time during the Bronze Age, with the pottery finds suggesting that intact, stratified prehistoric contexts may be preserved at below 0.5m depth relating to residential housing activities. The area was also used during the Roman period, perhaps as fields and activities continued into the Anglo Saxon and high medieval eras. The area was then abandoned in the late medieval period, likely relating to a contraction of the village due to the effects of the Black Death, and was not used again until the 19th century when it appears to have functioned as fields.
Test pit 20 is located near to the River Mel, and the number of finds may indicate Bronze Age settlement in this vicinity, sited close to the stream.
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.
No site diary was recorded.
Please click on a photograph to display a larger image.
Photo by Malcolm Woods