Record Details

NHER Number:51512
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval and post medieval walls and surfaces, 17th century clay pipe manufacturing debris, and associated finds

Summary

Evidence of occupation spanning from the medieval period to the early 20th century was recorded during redevelopment of Nos 55-57 North Quay, Great Yarmouth. All excavations were small-scale and isolated, making dating and interpretation difficult, but five phases of activity were identified.
The earliest activity on this site relates to the Carmelite Friary which was founded in 1276 and dissolved in 1538 (see NHER 4306). Parts of seven walls were recorded in the center of the site and it has been suggested that they may have been garden walls or boundary walls within the friary precinct. Several dumps of demolition debris are believed to date to the late medieval period, when the friary buildings were demolished.
During the early post medieval period (c. 1590 to c. 1750) the area of the friary was subjected to intensive redevelopment and the pattern of narrow row houses was extended across this area. There is also evidence that the existing buildings at Nos 55-57 North Quay were constructed at this time (see NHER 42971 and NHER 42986). Several wall fragments likely date to this period, but the most significant finds relate to an assemblage of 17th century clay pipe manufacturing debris. Six of the pipe fragments have maker’s initials ‘WH’ on either side of the heel, suggesting that they were made by William Harpley, a Yarmouth pipe-maker mentioned in 17th century documents. It had previously been recorded that clay pipes were manufactured in Row 45 from 1801 to 1868, but these finds extend this tradition back to the 17th century.
Late post medieval deposits (c. 1750 to c. 1900) were recorded in all areas of the site and included several walls and surfaces. Several of these were seen to abut existing medieval walls, which appear to have been re-used. Nos 55-57 North Quay (NHER 42971 and NHER 42986) are known to have been altered during this period, but smaller buildings and yards almost certainly remained behind them. Many of the row houses survived in this area until World War Two, after which many areas were cleared and redeveloped. The majority of this site appears to have been heavily affected by this redevelopment and much of the later post medieval deposits appear to have been disturbed at this time.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 52101 07729
Map Sheet:TG50NW
Parish:GREAT YARMOUTH, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK

Full description

April 2008 to February 2009. Watching Brief.
Evidence for the development of this area of Great Yarmouth from the medieval period to the early 20th century was recorded during monitoring of groundworks associated with modifications to Nos 55¬-57 North Quay. All excavations were small-scale and isolated, making dating and interpretation difficult, but five phases of activity were identified.
The earliest activity on this site relates to the Carmelite Friary which was founded in 1276 and dissolved in 1538 (see NHER 4306). Parts of seven walls were recorded in the center of the site, two aligned east-west, four aligned north-south, and one unknown. No building plan could be discerned from the observed wall fragments and no associated floors could be identified, but similarities in construction indicate that they were likely built around the same time and possible buried topsoil deposits may have been contemporary with the walls. It has been suggested that they may have been garden walls or boundary walls within the friary precinct and the main walls may have originally been located to the east (fronting onto the marketplace) and moved to the south of this location (fronting onto North Quay, previously known as Whitefriars Quay) in the later medieval period. None of the walls bore evidence of the fire which destroyed the friary in 1509.
Following the dissolution of the friary, the land passed hands several times and in 1584 was sold as a number of smaller plots to be developed. Several dumps of demolition debris identified in excavated areas in the centre of this site are believed to date to this late medieval period. The waste primarily consisted of mortar and contained very little brick or flint. It has been suggested that this rubble originated from the friary buildings and was carefully sorted, with valuable materials being reused elsewhere.
During the early post medieval period (c. 1590 to c. 1750) the area of the friary was subjected to intensive redevelopment and the pattern of narrow row houses was extended across this area. There is also evidence that the existing buildings at Nos 55-57 North Quay were constructed at this time (see NHER 42971 and NHER 42986). Evidence for activity during this period was recorded in the centre of the investigated area as well as in the extreme north-west. The most significant features from this period were two pits containing a large number of clay pipe fragments. Many of the fragments (123 of a total 264 fragments) were identified as wasters from manufacturing and one of the pits included several pieces of fired clay which may have formed a kiln lining or part of a saggar or other protective kiln furniture. The vast majority of the assemblage consisted of stem fragments, but it also included 18 mouthpieces and 27 complete or fragmentary bowls. The fragments were all of a generally similar type, and both bore hole sizes and bowl types indicate a 17th century date. Six of the pipes had maker’s initials ‘WH’ on either side of the heel, suggesting that they were made by William Harpley, a Yarmouth pipe-maker mentioned in 17th century documents. It had previously been recorded that clay pipes were manufactured in Row 45 from 1801 to 1868, but these finds extend this tradition back to the 17th century.
Late post medieval deposits (c. 1750 to c. 1900) were recorded in all areas of the site and included several walls and surfaces. Several of these were seen to abut existing medieval walls, which appear to have been re-used. In one area close to the existing buildings the existing north-south medieval wall was abutted by an east-west post medieval wall. North of the post-medieval wall an interior surface was recorded, but south of the wall an exterior cobble surface was observed. Nos 55-57 North Quay (NHER 42971 and NHER 42986) are known to have been altered during this period, but smaller buildings and yards almost certainly remained behind them.
Many of the row houses survived in this area until World War Two but were cleared and redeveloped following the war. The majority of this site appears to have been heavily affected by this redevelopment and much of the later post medieval deposits appear to have been truncated at this time.
The earliest pottery finds from the site consisted of three fragments of Late Medieval (14th to 16th century) date. The majority of the pottery assemblage was post-medieval and was dominated by redwares including at least two mugs, two jugs, a bowl, and a pipkin. Small quantities of hand-painted tin-glazed earthenware and German stonewares were also identified. Early modern factory-made pottery included fragments of both table and utilitarian vessels. Three fragments of porcelain and a fragment of English stoneware were also recorded.
47 fragments of animal bone were also recovered. Nine of these were from the pit containing the pipe stems, but the remains were largely from demolition debris or unstratified finds. All major domesticated animals were represented and the majority of these exhibited evidence of butchery with knives and axes. The bones were dominated by main cuts of meat, indicating that they were butchered away from the site, but a few skull fragments and extremities were also present. Six cat bones and one dog bone were also present. The cat bones were almost all from a single pit and may represent a single animal.
See (S1) for further information.
See also (S2).
H. Hamilton (HES), 18 June 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN WALL? (Medieval - 1276 AD to 1538 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1276 AD to 1538 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1276 AD to 1590 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1538 AD to 1590 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1538 AD to 1750 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BURIED LAND SURFACE (Post Medieval - 1590 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE KILN (Post Medieval - 1590 AD to 1750 AD)
  • HARD STANDING (Post Medieval - 1590 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1590 AD to 1750 AD)
  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1590 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL (Post Medieval - 1590 AD to 1750 AD)
  • WELL (Post Medieval - 1590 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FLOOR (Post Medieval - 1750 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HARD STANDING (Post Medieval - 1750 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1750 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL (Post Medieval - 1750 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Modern - 1901 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds

  • NAIL (Unknown date)
  • QUERN? (Unknown date)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Unknown date)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUILDING MATERIAL (Medieval - 1276 AD to 1538 AD)
  • POT (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1300 AD to 1599 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1500 AD to 1699 AD)
  • BUILDING MATERIAL (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1538 AD to 1590 AD)
  • BUILDING MATERIAL (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1538 AD to 1750 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1600 AD to 1750 AD)
  • KILN FURNITURE? (Post Medieval - 1600 AD to 1850 AD)
  • BUILDING MATERIAL (Post Medieval - 1750 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Modern - 1901 AD to 2050 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: Wallis, H.. 2009. Heather Wallis Report 103. Archaeological Watching Brief behind Nos 55-57 North Quay, Great Yarmouth..
<S2>Article in serial: Gurney, D & Hoggett, R. 2009. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2008. Norfolk Archaeology. XLV Part IV pp 570-578. p 573.

Related records

4306Part of: Site of Carmelite Friary (Monument)
42986Related to: 55 North Quay (Building)
42971Related to: 56 and 57 North Quay (Building)
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