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Sawtry 2016 Test Pit Location Map

Sawtry 2016 Test Pit Pottery Report


The 2016 test pitting in Sawtry was the third year of excavations in the town, when in June a further 12 test pits were excavated by 43 Year 9 students from Cromwell Community College, Swavesey Village College, The Voyager School and Stanground Academy. The test pits in this year were again sited through the town, although the majority were sited in the north, between the test pit sites already excavated in 2014 and 2015 and bringing the total number of pits excavated in the town to 36.

For the first time, evidence for Romano-British activity was recorded from two test pits in the north of the town (SAW/16/5 and SAW/16/8). These were again identified by single sherds of Roman pottery, but does hint that the fields in Sawtry were quite extensive during the Roman period, perhaps serving a nearby farmstead. A test pit excavated on Fen Lane again revealed Late Anglo Saxon pottery, further supporting the notion of occupation on site here from between the 9th and 10th centuries. For the first time Late Saxon activity was also identified in the south of the town (SAW/16/11), but as it was only a single sherd of pottery, it would have likely been utilised as open fields rather than for settlement. The 2016 medieval results support what has already been noted for the settlement at this time with at least two focal areas of activity along Fen Lane and to the north of the church, as well as extending further south. The village contracted during the later medieval, but for the first time, activity was seen to continue in the far south of the settlement (SAW/16/11) and suggests that this area may have been the site for an isolated farmstead. The village continued to recover through the post medieval and by the 19th century the core of the settlement that we see today was in place.