Seven test pits were excavated in Manuden in 2011, all within c. 300m of the church, four to the north in gardens along The Street, the others to the south. No material pre-dating the high medieval was found in any of the pits, with the earliest dateable finds being Essex Grey Ware of 12th – 14th century date. Just three sherds were recovered, all from pits MAN/11/05 and MAN/11/06. A single very small sherd (3g) of slightly later Mill Green Ware (c. 1250-1350 AD) was recovered north of the church from MAN/11/02. Although the volume of finds is very small, overall it is enough to suggest that there was indeed a settlement near the church in the high medieval period. Pottery of later medieval date was found in similar quantities, including a 12g sherd from a possibly undisturbed deposit 80cm below the surface of MAN/11/04 (time constraints unfortunately prevented this site from being excavated any further). There thus appears to be no evidence for a late medieval decline in activity, although the small number of pits excavated is not at present sufficient to give statistical validity to any such observations.
In contrast to the paucity of medieval material, nearly all the excavated pits produced pottery of 17th and 18th century date, including a number of non-local wares imported from Staffordshire and Germany. The finds from pits MAN/11/01- MAN/11/04, all sited along The Street, strongly suggest that this area became prominent and well-to-do at this time, an inference which is reflected also in the above-ground evidence, as several timber-framed jettied buildings of probable 17th/18th century date survive along this street.