Record Details

NHER Number:25296
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late Saxon town defences and medieval mint, Guildhall Street Co-op site

Summary

Archaeological evaluation and excavation at this site in 1989 recorded a Late Iron Age pit, a section of the Late Saxon town ditch, several medieval pits and a medieval hearth. A quantity of silverworking debris recovered from the medieval pits may indicate that a mint was situated here in the medieval period. Other finds retrieved during excavation include Late Saxon pottery and parts of a medieval padlock.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 871 829
Map Sheet:TL88SE
Parish:THETFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

June 1989. Evaluation by M. Flitcroft for NAU. Contexts 1-?.
Excavation of two trial trenches revealed part of a large, v-shaped Late Saxon ditch, six 13th to 14th century pits, and a circular clay-lined hearth.
See (S1-3) for further details.
P. Andrews (NAU) September 1989.
Updated H. Hamilton (NLA), 01 July 2008.

July 1989. Excavation by P. Andrews for NAU. Contexts ?-161.
Excavation of two further trenches recorded additional Saxon and medieval features as well as a small, circular Iron Age pit which contained part of a small jar and approximately 40 crudely-struck flint flakes. The pit was cut by a Late Saxon ditch which in turn was cut by several medieval pits. In total, fourteen or fifteen pits, four possible post holes, and a shallow curvilinear gully were dated to the medieval period. Finds from the Saxon ditch were limited to a single sherd of Thetford ware, a small quantity of animal bone, and one sherd of early medieval pottery in the top fill. The medieval features yielded small assemblages of primarily 12th to 14th century pottery and animal bone fragments. However, one of the pits which cut into the Saxon ditch yielded silver refining debris, fragments of crucibles, and hearth lining. A nearby pit also yielded smithing slag and two whetstones, while smaller quantities of metallurgical debris was recorded elsewhere on the site. Five residual sherds of Late Iron Age pottery were found on the site.
See (S1-3) for further details.
P. Andrews (NAU) September 1989.
Updated H. Hamilton (NLA), 01 July 2008.

The presence of Iron Age material at this site is not surprising, as it is located within 50m of the projected line of the western defenses of an Iron Age fort (NHER 5747). The Late Saxon ditch recorded here has been identified as part of the town ditch. It appears to have been part of a defensive circuit along the north bank of the river, likely positioned to link to the existing Iron Age fort defenses to the east. It has been suggested that this section of the ditch may have been an 11th century extension to existing 10th century defenses which are thought to have existed to the west, near modern Well Street. Such an extension may have been contemporary with the creation of a new street system south of the river. The medieval silver working debris recorded at the site indicates comparatively large-scale production, possibly representing a mint located on Guildhall Street in the 12th to 13th century.
Finds are NCM loan 1994.1.
See (S3) for further details.
E. Rose (NLA) 4 October 1999.
Updated H. Hamilton (NLA), 01 July 2008.

Monument Types

  • PIT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • DITCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • TOWN DEFENCES (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • GULLY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HEARTH (excavated, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MINT? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POST HOLE (excavated, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FLAKE (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • LAMP (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BARREL PADLOCK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CRUCIBLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • LITHARGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • NAIL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUERN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SLAG (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HANDLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Article in serial: Gurney, D (ed.). 1990. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1989. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLI Pt I pp 107-112. p 111.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1989. NHER TL 8782ABF-ABH (NLA 223/DHR10-12) 15-JUN-1989.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1989. NHER TL 8782ABK-ABJ (NLA 223/DHR14-16) 15-JUN-1989.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1989. NHER TL 8782ACM-ACT (NLA 223/DHT4-10) 15-JUN-1989.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1989. NHER TL 8782ABC-ABE (NLA 223/DMF11, DHR8-9) 15-JUN-1989.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1989. NHER TL 8782ABA-ABB (NLA 237/DMF9-10) 15-JUN-1989.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1989. NHER TL 8782AB-AF (NLA 223/SLIDE) 15-JUN-1989.
---Article in monograph: Hutton MacDonald, R. 1999. Animal Bones from St Nicholas' Street and Guildhall Street. Excavations in Thetford, North of the River, 1989-90. East Anglian Archaeology. Andrews, P. and Penn, K. No 87 pp 75-82.
<S1>Photograph: 1989. FQT,FQV.
<S2>Slide: Various. Slide.
<S3>Article in monograph: Andrews, P. 1999. Excavations at Guildhall Street, 1999, Site 25296. Excavations in Thetford, North of the River, 1989-90. East Anglian Archaeology. Andrews, P. and Penn, K. No 87 pp 1-11.

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2019 Norfolk Historic Environment Service