Test Pit 27 - 34 North End
This pit was located opposite Holy Trinity Church. The area may at one time have formed part of the churchyard. The remains of eight human skeletons were found on the property in February 1976 during the digging of a trench for a domestic water pipe.
The pottery from this test pit included a single Bronze Age sherd, six sherds of St Neots Ware, two sherds of Medieval Sandy Ware dating to the 12th-14th centuries, Late Medieval Ware from the 15th-16th centuries, post-medieval Glazed Red Earthenware and three Victorian-era sherds.
Other finds from this test pit included shell, stone, glass, a penny coin made in 1807, chalk, brick and mortar. The faunal assemblage included bones of cow, sheep/goat, pig and some other unidentifiable remains.
The single Bronze Age sherd from this pit contributes towards the general distribution of Bronze Age finds observed across eight test pits in Meldreth, collectively providing strong evidence for a Bronze Age settlement somewhere in the vicinity of the village, and possibly connected with the River Mel. The area then seems to have been abandoned, and is not used again until the late Saxon era when it was likely used as fields or gardens (note that records indicate an early church may have been established in 970). The area appears to have been kept relatively clean ever since this time, with only minimal deposition of pottery and other finds. It is interesting to note that human bones have previously been found here (see above), suggesting the parish churchyard may once have included this land. This would explain the lack of finds after the Saxon period, as the present church building dates from the late 12th century which was probably when the graveyard was also established.
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.
- All raring to go, but appreciate the need to comply with paperwork procedure.
- Mattock the perfect tool for the job in hand.
- We decided not to preserve the turf for reinstatement, preferring to reseed the site area at a later date.
- Morale was boosted by the discovery of a coin in context 2, later shown to be an 1807 penny.
- Ended the day tired but still full of enthusiasm having thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the day.
- Regular visits from “officials” (Cat, Robert and photographer) welcomed to reassure us as we continued to dig. They were also useful sources of information regarding progress at the other sites.
- If the mattock was our property, we would have sawn 12 inches off the handle by now to facilitate use in a pit of increasing depth.
- In the afternoon, enthusiasm was flagging as a result of finding very little of interest.
- Team reluctantly agreed to stop digging after context 8, when white chalk was reached.
- We all enjoyed the activity, especially the tea and cake session at 4.45pm, when it was great to see the finds of other teams and hear about their experiences.
Please click on a photograph to display a larger image.