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Girton 2010

Girton 2010 Pottery Report

Girton 2010 Test Pit Location Map

Five test pits were excavated in Girton in 2009 by pupils attending a residential HEFA course who stayed in the nearby university college. The 2010 test pits were sited in the south of the present village, south-east of Girton College, c. 1.5km from the parish church.  They were thus in a quite different part of the present village to the 2009 test pits. GIR/10/3, GIR/10/4 and GIR/10/5 all produced pottery of Roman date, and it is notable in this context that these pits were in gardens alongside the Roman Road from Cambridge to Godmanchester.  Pits GIR/10/3 and GIR/10/4 only produced single sherds, indicating non-intensive use, but GIR/10/5 produced more than 20 sherds, clearly indicating some sort of contemporary roadside settlement in the near vicinity. 

The same test pit (GIR/10/5) was also the only one excavated in 2010 to produce more than a single sherd of medieval pottery. However, with only three sherds, it is impossible to be confident whether this relates to medieval settlement nearby or less intensive use of the site. The only other find of medieval date from the 2010 pits was a single sherd of Hedingham Ware from GIR/10/2, immediately east of the college grounds. No material of later medieval date (post 14th century) was found in any of the excavated pits in 2010.

Although only a small number of pits have yet been excavated within what is today a large village, it is striking that there has been hardy any later medieval pottery found. The two areas of the village which have revealed pottery of high medieval date have both notably produced no post 14th century material at all. This supports the tentative inference previously made (Lewis 2009) that the village may have suffered serious late medieval contraction.