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Sharnbrook 2009

Sharnbrook 2009 Pottery Report

Sharnbrook 2009 Test Pit Location Map

Ten test pits were excavated in Sharnbrook in 2009, bringing the total to date to twenty-six. New sites excavated in 2009 included several on the north side of the High Street, between this and the Sharn Brook, and three beyond the limits of the present village near the present railway line, an area presently known as Barleycroft.  

As in previous years, no Roman material was recovered from any of the test pits and no further pottery of Iron Age date was recovered. Two test pits contained material dating to 850-1100 AD, supporting the inference made in 2008 that the northern part of the present High Street was a focus of activity in the later Anglo-Saxon period. 2009 excavations also hinted at the presence of a second area of late Anglo-Saxon activity immediately south-west of the church, although as only two sherds were found, both weighing less than 5g, this interpretation must be regarded as somewhat tentative at present. It is however possible to infer with a greater degree of confidence that there is at present no sign of a large nucleated village here in the late Anglo-Saxon period, as fifteen of the twenty pits excavated in the centre of the present village have now produced no evidence for occupation at this date. In contrast, all but five of these twenty pits have produced pottery dating to 1100-1400 AD, suggesting that the settlement expanded in this period, and it was probably then that it took on a more nucleated form. That said, it should be noted that several of the pits did in fact only produce a small number of sherds for this period. Notably, there is no sign of any marked post fourteenth century contraction, with all areas in use before this time continuing in use afterwards, including the outlying sites at Manor Farm and Barleycroft, which have been tentatively interpreted as outlying homesteads in the medieval period.