Two test pitting excavations were undertaken in Brundall in 2015, in April and June where 36 and 37 Year 9 students respectively from Aylsham High School, Taverham High School, Broadland High School, City of Norwich School, Framingham Early High School, Notre Dame High School and Sewell Park School excavated a total of 19 1m2 test pits. The primary school pupils from Brundall also excavated a test pit within their school grounds. The test pitting was part of the Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) programme undertaken by Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) in East Anglia, which aims to raise the aspirations, enthusiasm and attainment of 14-17 year-olds with regard to higher education by making a valuable contribution to current academic research at the University of Cambridge, into the development of rural communities and settlements in the past.
2015 was the first year of excavation in Brundall and the majority of the test pits were excavated along the central swathe of the village between Brundall Gardens and just east of the train station with a couple of outlying pits to the north and far west of the village. Late Bronze Age pottery was excavated from three test pits, close to the River Yare with potential in-situ activity recorded from close to the church. Three test pits yielded Roman pottery so suggest Romano-British activity was scattered along the length of the current village settlement. Limited Early and Late Anglo Saxon pottery was recovered from the same test pit close to the church, the Early Saxon pottery was the same that was utilised as cremation urns so may hint that this area of high ground was utilised as a cemetery and then was also the location of the original Late Anglo Saxon settlement around the church. The high medieval pottery was found from five test pits centrally and from the western half of the village, suggesting the activity at this time may have been quite dispersed. The settlement then appears to have been affected by the socio-economic factors of the 14th century, including the Black Death with evidence of contraction to the east of the church. The village during the post medieval and later continued to expand into the linear settlement as seen today.