Test Pit 32 - 70a North End
This pit was dug in the back garden of a new house. The land once formed part of the grounds of the adjacent College Farm.
This test pit produced small quantities of a range of different wares including a Romano-British sherd, some Medieval Shelly Ware, Hedingham Ware and Hertfordshire Greyware dating to the 12th-14th centuries, Late Medieval Ware, some post-medieval Glazed Red Earthenware and ten Victorian-era sherds.
The other finds from this pit included metal nails, slag, slate, coal, stone, glass, charcoal and some brick and masonry rubble. The faunal assemblage included bones of sheep/goat, pig and five other unidentifiable bones.
The sherd of Roman-era pottery contributes towards the general distribution observed across 11 test pits in Meldreth, together indicating the probable presence of arable farmland. The finds indicate the continued use of this area as farmland into the medieval period, including during the 15th-16th centuries and then on into the post-medieval period until recent times (a pattern also observed in nearby Test Pit 31), when the land formed part of College Farm. There is no evidence for any actual settlement on this site at any point in the past, prior to the construction of the modern property in the 21st century. The church and manors of Topcliffe and Vesey therefore appear to have marked the northern edge of settlement in Meldreth for a substantial period of time.
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.
There were six workers, two of whom were the owners. We dug to the bottom of context 3. There was clear separation at 25cm between whitish presumably disturbed soil and “solid clay”. There were more finds in the top two contexts.
We were joined by another two volunteers. We dug to the bottom of context 6 and investigated one further corner, hitting chalk. There were few finds, but found what may be medieval pottery.
Please click on a photograph to display a larger image.