Record Details

NHER Number:51338
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late Saxon road and buildings and medieval Friary building

Summary

Excavation adjacent to the Daynes Sports Hall in 2008 recorded a variety of features dated from the Late Saxon to the Post medieval period. The earliest features observed were a group of post holes dated by artefacts and stratigraphy to the Late Saxon period. No coherent plan could be discerned amongst these features, but they may have been related to a structure. The post holes were overlain by a north-south road with a metalled surface and well preserved wheel ruts which was also dated to the Late Saxon period. The projected line of the road brings it close to the site of St. Ethelbert's Church (NHER 579), which was constructed during this period. Other Late Saxon features included the remains of what was likely a cellared building located west of the road, and finds collected from the road indicate that antler working and possibly metalworking took place in this area.
In 1292 this land came into the ownership of the Franciscan Friary (NHER 373) and the excavation recorded remains of a substantial building of this period which was previously unknown. It was initially believed that the Greyfriars cemetery extended into this area, but no evidence of the cemetery was encountered. Post medieval features were limited to a single pit.

Images - none

Documents/files/web pages

Location

Grid Reference:TG 23440 08692
Map Sheet:TG20NW
Parish:NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK

Full description

March 2008. Excavation. Contexts 1-111.
Excavation adjacent to the Daynes Sports Hall recorded remains dated from the Late Saxon to the Post medieval period.
The earliest features observed were a group of post holes dated by artefacts and stratigraphy to the Late Saxon period. No coherent plan could be discerned amongst these features, but it is possible that they were related to a structure. One of the post holes contained a fragment of fired clay with wattle impressions and the post holes appear to have been contemporaneous with a pit contained metalworking debris.
These features were sealed by a north-south road with a metalled surface which has also been dated to the Late Saxon period. The road was founded on a spread of debris which may have been from an industrial process as it contained charcoal, burnt clay, oyster shell, mussel shell and metalworking debris. A well-defined rut was preserved along the western edge of this layer and this was found to contain pottery and animal bone. The road itself was metalled with small stones and metalworking debris (all ferrous, primarily secondary smithing lumps and cinder), and a set of wheel ruts was preserved in this surface as well although the metalling was only preserved on the southern portion of the road. The projected line of the road brings it close to the site of St. Ethelbert's Church (NHER 579), which was constructed in the Late Saxon period.
The remains of what was likely a cellared building were identified to the west of the road. Its form and function cannot be certain as it was not completely exposed, but it has been suggested that the building could have been used for antler working as a relatively large quantity of antler working debris was recovered from the surface of the road. The fill of the structure contained Thetford ware, and few fragments of burnt Roman tile, and oyster and mussel shell. Other features dated to this period include a possible cess pit and a possible quarry pit. Analysis of animal bone collected from the Late Saxon deposits has identified remains of deer, hare, dog, cat, equid, salmon species, pike and herring as well as cattle, sheep or goat, and pig.
In 1292 this land came into the ownership of the Franciscan Friary (NHER 373). The excavation recorded remains of a substantial building of this period which was previously unknown. The only upstanding masonry from the building was an east-west flint cobble wall at the south of the excvated area. The wall was founded on a substantial banded footing and a small area of faced flint had been preserved in one corner, indicating the contemporary ground level. A second banded footing perpendicular to the wall was found to cut the foundation footings of the wall and has been interpreted as a buttress. An east-west construction cut was also identified, indicating a second wall which had been completely robbed out. This wall appears to have been smaller, and artefacts recovered from the foundation date the construction to the 15th century or later. It was initially believed that the Greyfriars cemetery extended into this area, but no evidence of the cemetery was encountered. A human skull identified as the remains of a young adult male was recovered from the north-eastern corner of the site, but the nature of the soils in which it was found suggests that the skull had been buried in the modern era, possibly following accidential discovery during previous building work.
Post medieval features were limited to a single pit into which wet mortar appears to have been tipped. A large modern pit and a levelling deposit associated with the construction of the modern building has reduced the level of the site to the natural soil in some areas, truncating the archaeological remains.
See (S1-3) for further details.
See also (S5).
H. Hamilton (NLA), 10 September 2008.

October 2007. Site Investigation
5 probes were taken across the site and soil samples and gas tests were taken.
See (S4) for further information.
H White (NLA) 11 November 2008.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman to Post Medieval - 43 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BEAM SLOT? (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CESS PIT? (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • GRUBENHAUS? (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • PIT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ROAD (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BUILDING (Medieval - 1292 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1292 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CONSTRUCTION TRENCH (Medieval - 1400 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Saxon - 500000 BC? to 1065 AD?)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Early Saxon to Middle Saxon - 411 AD to 850 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FISH REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • MANUFACTURING DEBRIS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • MARINE MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • OYSTER SHELL (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • QUERN (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WEDGE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOOKED TAG (Late Saxon to Medieval - 900 AD to 1099 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: Adams, D.. 2008. NAU Archaeology Report No. 1775. An Archaeological Excavation at the Daynes Sports Hall, St Faith's Lane, Norwich. Assessment Report and Updated Project Design..
<S2>Photograph: NAU Archaeology. 2008. MKT - MKX.
<S3>Slide: Various. Slide. 1-41.
<S4>Unpublished document: SIC (East Anglia) Ltd. 2007. SIC (East Anglia) Limited Site Investigation Report No. 9405 Proposed Extension to Daynes Sports Centre, Norwich School.
<S5>Article in serial: Gurney, D & Hoggett, R. 2009. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2008. Norfolk Archaeology. XLV Part IV pp 570-578. p 576.

Related records

373Part of: Greyfriars' Precinct, Norwich (Monument)
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