Record Details

NHER Number:31393
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval remains at 74 to 78 Norfolk Street/Austin Street

Summary

Detailed archaeological investigations have taken place on this site revealing extensive evidence of medieval and post medieval occupation and industrial activities. Several structures have been excavated, including a blacksmith's workshop, and evidence of other medieval industries have been recovered. The evidence found here relating to fish-hook manufacture between 1250 and 1350 AD is of international significance.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 6213 2033
Map Sheet:TF62SW
Parish:KING’S LYNN, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

July 1995. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of excavations for ring beam foundations.
In the main only late post medieval garden soils were encountered. A wall containing 'limestone and sandstone' was taken to be a division between late post medieval properties. However another wall of massive proportions was suggested as a medieval quayside wall.
See report (S1) for further details.
E. Rose (NLA), 15 March 1999. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 April 2015.

September 2000. Trial Trenching. Contexts 100-296.
Evaluation of area to west of earlier watching brief.
This area appears to be open ground in the 11th and 12th centuries but by the 13th century a soil had developed on the alluvial deposits. From the middle of the 13th century the digging of pits for refuse, probably from industrial activities carried out on the site including blacksmithing for fish hook production and, possibly, woodworking, took place on the Norfolk Street frontage. Later 14th century deposits indicate a substantial north-south aligned ditch, probably a boundary between two messuages. Numerous horn cores from this ditch suggests a hornworker was active in the vicinity in the 14th and 15th centuries. Post-medieval remains were found across the site and included the remains of a deliberately infilled brick cellar, dumped deposits and rubbish pits.
See report (S2) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S3).
D. Gurney (NLA), 29 January 2001. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 April 2015 and A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 2 May 2019.

July-August 2001. Excavation. Contexts 301-2185.
Revealed extensive evidence for medieval occupation and industry, still in use in post-medieval period.
Most of the features and deposits revealed by the excavation date from the 12th to 14th centuries. Structures from this period reflect a variety of building methods and materials and include clay-walled, stone- and brick-built structures. Several of the stone and brick structures were still in use in the post-medieval period. Many of these structures can be directly associated with industrial activities at the site, perhaps most notably a smithy which occupied a clay-walled structure and which was associated with wire-working, an important aspect of which was the manufacture of fish hooks. Artefactual evidence also suggests other craft and industrial activities including woodworking, bone working, copper working and possibly brewing.
Across the site 122 pits were recorded, the majority of which were used for the disposal of rubbish. There is also significant occupation debris and layers reating to dumping of refuse across the site.
Finds from the site included large quantities of medieval and post medieval pottery, metalwork and metalworking debris, and household items, knives, tools, coins, tokens, dress accessories, horseshoes, stonework, clay tobacco pipes and spindle whorls. Leather and wooden objects were also recovered and survived well in the waterlogged conditions prevalent at the site. Faunal remains attest to the diet of those occupying the site and also provide some insight into the presence of domestic animals. The environmental remains have great potential for informing our understanding of the diet of those living at this site, as well as providing much useful information about local agricultural and fishing activities and local crafts and industries.
See assessment report (S4) and updated project design (S5) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S6). See also digital images of excavation (S7) and press cuttings (S8) and (S9).
J. Allen (NLA), 20 June 2001. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 April 2015 and A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 2 May 2019.

Work on the excavation project has been completed as far as the assessment phase.
For more information on the planning history of this site, see the Secondary File.
D. Gurney (HES), 12 August 2011.

A combined archive belived to include material from both the 2000 trial trenching and 2001 excavation has now been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.414).
P. Watkins (HES), 20 July 2019.

Monument Types

  • BOUNDARY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HEARTH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INDUSTRIAL SITE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • IRON WORKS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BLACKSMITHS WORKSHOP (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • BOUNDARY FENCE (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • BREWERY? (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • DITCH (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • FLOOR (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • GULLY (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • HEARTH (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • LATRINE PIT (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • METAL WORKERS WORKSHOP? (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • POST HOLE (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • RUBBISH PIT (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • WALL (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • WOODWORKING SITE? (13th Century to 14th Century - 1250 AD to 1350 AD)
  • DITCH (14th Century to 15th Century - 1350 AD to 1500 AD)
  • FLOOR? (14th Century to 15th Century - 1350 AD to 1500 AD)
  • HORN WORKING SITE (14th Century to 15th Century - 1350 AD to 1500 AD)
  • POST HOLE (14th Century to 15th Century - 1350 AD to 1500 AD)
  • CELLAR (15th Century to 18th Century - 1500 AD to 1800 AD)
  • DITCH (15th Century to 18th Century - 1500 AD to 1800 AD)
  • PIT (15th Century to 18th Century - 1500 AD to 1800 AD)
  • WALL (15th Century to 18th Century - 1500 AD to 1800 AD)
  • BOUNDARY WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • NAIL (Unknown date)
  • PLANT MACRO REMAINS (Undated)
  • QUERN (Unknown date)
  • SHOE (Unknown date)
  • WASTE (Unknown date)
  • WASTE (Unknown date)
  • WASTE (Unknown date)
  • WHETSTONE (Unknown date)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BOWL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHISEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FISH HOOK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HAMMER (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HORSESHOE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • LID (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • NEEDLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SCABBARD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SHEARS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SHOE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SLAG (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SLAG (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WEFT BEATER (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CAME (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DISC (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • KNIFE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOBACCO PIPE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WIG CURLER (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 1995. Results of a Watching Brief at 74-78 Norfolk Street, King's Lynn. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 403.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Cope-Faulkner, P. 2000. Archaeological Evaluation of land between Austin Street and Norfolk Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Archaeological Project Services. 162/00.
<S2>Article in Serial: Ashley, S. 2008. A Medieval Armorial Scabbard from Norfolk Street, King's Lynn. The Coat of Arms. 3rd Series Vol 3 No 214 pp 87-93.
<S3>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2001. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2000. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt IV pp 707-728. p 714.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Cope-Faulkner, P. 2005. Assessment of the Archaeological Remains from Excavations at Norfolk Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Archaeological Project Services. 182/04.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Taylor, G., Lane, T. and Cope-Faulkner, P. 2005. Updated Project Design: Archaeological Excavations at Norfolk Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Archaeological Project Services.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2002. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2001. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt I pp 162-177. p 168.
<S7>*Digital Archive: Elfleet, K.. 2001. [unknown].
<S8>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2001. Dig stirs town's deep sea history. 23 August.
<S9>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 2000. Store snagged by medieval hooks. 14 November.

Related records - none

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