2010 Community Dig
Pirton continued its domination of the HEFA league tables with twenty-seven test pits excavated in 2010, many by local residents, bringing the total since 2007 to eighty-three. The 2010 excavations focussed in particular on the north-west of north-east of the present village, especially around the farms on the northerly margins of the present village. Most of these yielded significant volumes of Romano-British pottery, showing the contemporary settlement along the southern side of the stream valley here to have been quite extensive and densely populated. However, none of the pits in this northerly part of the present village have produced so much as a single sherd of pottery of early or middle Anglo-Saxon date, clearly indicating that this settlement did not continue into the post-Roman period. The excavated evidence shows that this area did come back into use as settlement in the later Anglo-Saxon period, but at this date it seems to be more limited in extent and arranged as discrete small sites, perhaps farms, rather than as a large continuous village. A majority of pits in the 300m square area north of the church and along the High Street have produced significant volumes of late Anglo-Saxon pottery, and it is apparent that this part of the village came into existence at this time.
As noted before, the western part of the present village appears to be a creation of the high medieval period when the motte and bailey castle was constructed, and when the village appears to be intensively and extensively occupied as a nucleated settlement. The impression of very significant late medieval contraction in settlement size and intensity continues to be clearly evident, although the farms in the north of the village were test pitting took place in 2010 seem to have suffered less at this time than the core of the village. Post-medieval recovery is also less marked at these sites.