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Writtle 2009

Writtle 2009 Pottery Report

Writtle 2009 Test Pit Location Map

Seven test pits were excavated in Writtle in 2009, all sited in plots around the two greens. No Roman material was recovered from any of the pits, and indeed nothing was found that could definitely be dated to before the Norman Conquest. The earliest pottery found was a single sherd from a Badorf ware jug of probable tenth to twelfth century date, found in WRI/09/07 on the western edge of the triangular green. Badorf ware is very rare at sites other than ports such as Ipswich and London, and is usually otherwise only found at high-status sites with royal or ecclesiastical connections. It is likely to reflect royal interest in Writtle and it is interesting to note that this sherd predates the early thirteenth century construction of King John's Hunting Lodge. By contrast, all the excavated pits produced pottery of high medieval date (mid eleventh to mid fourteenth century). The earliest of this came from WRI/09/04, in the form of two sherds (one weighing 20g) of Essex Shelly Ware, which dates to 1050-1200 AD, contemporary with the construction of the church. Observations regarding the distribution of pottery based on such a small number of test pits must inevitably be made with considerable caution, but it was interesting to note that the test pits north of Writtle Green and west of St john's Green produced very much smaller quantities of post-fourteenth century pottery that those on the south-west of Writtle Green, hinting that this area may have been differentially affected by late medieval settlement contraction at Writtle. It will be interesting to see if this tentative observation is supported or contradicted by further test pit excavation in Writtle in 2010.

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