The 2015 test pits in Hadleigh were excavated in May by 34 Year 9 students from Shoeburyness High School, Westcliff High School for Boys, Cecil Jones Academy and Southend High School for Boys. This is the first year of excavations in Hadleigh and a total of 15 archaeological test pits were dug in the village by the school students and members of AGES-AHA community group. The test pits were mainly sited cetrally in the town and to the south of the church, with a few outlying sites to the east, north and west.
Four test pits recorded evidence for Romano-British activity, all of which were found centrally through the settlment on the higher ground overlooking the Benfleet Creek to the south and suggests that there may have been a Roman site in this area. The rest of the pottery recorded dates to the medieval period and later and shows that there was not only occupation between the church and the castle in the south but the settlement was also expanding to the east and west, although given the small amount of high medieval pottery recorded from these outlyers they may represent open fields instead of occupation. During the 14th century there is evidence for contraction of the settlement, due to the various socio-economic factors at that time, including the Black Death and there was no evidence that the outlying sites were being utilised at all at this time. The settlement soon expanded again though through the post medieval as a wide spread of activity was recorded through the majority of the test pits.