Record Details

NHER Number:39688
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval building and potentially Early Saxon features, Former Lex Garage, High Street

Summary

Archaeological work undertaken in 2003-2004 prior to the redevelopment of this site identified the remains of a 13th-century earth-fast timber building and an associated yard and outbuilding. The main structure may have continued in use until the 19th century when the Oxford Inn was built (itself demolished when the site was redeveloped during the 20th century). Of particular note were several possible waster fragments amongst the medieval pottery; potentially evidence that Dereham had been a pottery production centre at this time.
There was also limited evidence for earlier activity on the site in the form of several gullies and a similar-aligned post-built structure. Although few finds were recovered a hazelnut from one of the gullies was radiocarbon dated to the Early Saxon period and it is possible that some, if not all, of these early features were of a similar date.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 98891 13131
Map Sheet:TF91SE
Parish:DEREHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

April 2003. Desk-based Assessment.
Assessment of likely archaeological impact of proposed development.
See report (S1) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 8 August 2015.

September-October 2003. Trial Trenching.
Evaluation of proposed redevelopment area to east of High Street (Trenches 5-18).
See NHER 60793 and reports (S2) and (S3) for further details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 June 2015.

January 2004. Trial Trenching.
Evaluation of former garage to west of High Street, prior to proposed redevelopment of site (Trenches 1-4).
Possible timber structure, may be prehistoric, slender evidence suggests this may be a Neolithic structure. Also evidence for possible settlement of the street frontage during the 13th or 14th centuries: several refuse and quarry pits were set back a little way from the present day street edge. One of these pits contained two medieval waster sherds, bolstering circumstantial evidence that the Dereham/Scarning area may have supported a medieval pottery production centre.
See reports (S4) and (S3) for further details. See also newspaper article (S5).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.488).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 7 September 2004. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 June 2015 and 27 May 2019.

February 2004. Excavation.
Excavation of two relatively small areas (Trenches 19 and 20) in north-east corner of site.
Many archaeological features were recorded, including a medieval building set against High Street. This was replaced by a post medieval building with brick footings. A range of pits and yard surfaces associated with medieval and post medieval activity were encountered to the rear. Fenced areas, a possible track and extraction pits demonstrate use of the property's backland. A rubbish pit in this area contained 13th- to 14th-century pottery, providing the clearest evidence yet of a medieval presence in this part of Dereham. Several sherds of 13th- to 14th-entury pottery recovered from this area appear to be wasters from a pottery production site.
Activity prior to the 12th century was represent by a few poorly-dated features, including the post-built structure identified during the earlier evaluation and a number of similarly aligned gullies. Although it had previously been suggested that the post-built structure could be prehistoric, a hazelnut shell from one of the gullies was radiocarbon dated to the Early Saxon period. It was suggested that these various early features were potentially associated with a single, Early Saxon phase of activity.
See published article (S6), publication draft (S7) and assessment report (S8) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S9).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.488).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 16 July 2007. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 June 2015 and 27 May 2019.

Monument Types

  • CESS PIT (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • STRUCTURE? (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • GULLY (Early Saxon - 410 AD? to 650 AD?)
  • POST HOLE (Early Saxon - 410 AD? to 650 AD?)
  • STRUCTURE? (Early Saxon - 410 AD? to 650 AD?)
  • BOUNDARY FENCE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUILDING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CESS PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • EXTRACTIVE PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POTTERY MANUFACTURING SITE? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RUBBISH PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SOAKAWAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • BOUNDARY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • SPINDLE WHORL (Unknown date)
  • BLADE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • DEBITAGE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • DEBITAGE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DEBITAGE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (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)
  • DRESS FASTENER (DRESS) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PANTILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PANTILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • VESSEL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Penn, K. 2003. An Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment of land at High Street, Dereham, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 821.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 2003. Interim Report on an Archaeological Evaluation to the south-east of Dereham town centre. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 896.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 2004. An Archaeological Evaluation to the south-east of Dereham town centre, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 907.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 2004. Second Interim Report on an Archaeological Evaluation to the south-east of Dereham town centre. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 905.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Dereham and Fakenham Times. 2003. History of town is in the making. 2 October.
<S6>Article in Serial: Shelley, A. 2006. Excavations at 34 High Street, Dereham, 2004. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 60-73.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 2005. Excavations at 34 High Street, Dereham, 2004. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1054.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 2004. Former Lex Garage, High Street, Dereham. Post-Fieldwork Assessment of Potential for Analysis and Updated Project Design. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 925.
<S9>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2005. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2004. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt IV pp 751-763. p 754.

Related records - none

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