Test Pit 30 - Bury Farm, 42 North End

This test pit was dug on a moated site, close to the Church, where Vesey’s Manor House once stood.

The Finds

The pottery from this pit included two sherds of Hertfordshire Grey dating to the 12th -14th centuries, Late Medieval Ware dating to the 15th -16th centuries, Glazed Red Earthenware, German Stoneware and Staffordshire Slipware dating to the post-medieval period and eight Victorian-era sherds.

The other finds included a fragment of bullet, nails and other metal scraps, coal, mortar, glass (including a possible ancient fragment) and some fragments of oyster and mussel shell. The faunal assemblage included bones of cow, sheep/goat, pig, rabbit, chicken and some other unidentifiable remains.

Unlike all the other test pits excavated inside moated manorial sites in Meldreth (test pits 7, 8, 19 and 29), this pit produced very small quantities of pottery, suggesting there has been no significant deposition in this area at all. One possibility is that the test pit was excavated on an area that had been deliberately kept clean during the period the site was in use. However, no obvious explanations for why this might be true are apparent. Another explanation is that this may have been a garden feature rather than a residential moated site, and the presence of late medieval and post-medieval material (unlike at the moated sites of Flambards and nearby Topcliffe where material of this date is notably absent), suggest that this ornamental use may have dated to this period, possibly causing earlier material to be incorporated during its construction. This would explain why the medieval pottery was found in contexts with later material also present.

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 found the large mattock too big.  We had a smaller one that belonged to a team member which was much easier to use and quite effective.  Kath’s arrangements were excellent, including the briefing.

Day Two

The whole day went smoothly. Disappointing that on an ancient site we did not get finds after context 4 and probably hit natural(?) at context 5/6.

Relatively fortunate with the weather. All team members would certainly be happy to participate again.

Photo Gallery

Please click on a photograph to display a larger image.


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