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Hadleigh 2017 Test Pit Location Map

Hadleigh 2017 Pottery Report


In May 2017 a total of 10 1m square archaeological test pits were excavated by both AGES-AHA community group and 32 Year 7, 8 and 9 students from Southend High School for Boys, which was also followed up by another two test pits excavated by AGES-AHA over the summer. This brings the total number of pits excavated in 2017 to 12 and in Hadleigh over the three years to 36. The test pitting was part of the Independent Learning Archaeology Field School (ILAFS) programme, formally known as the Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA), undertaken by Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) in East Anglia and beyond, 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.

The earliest of the pottery finds from the 2017 test pits dated to the high medieval and later which expanded on the already known extent of the settlement at that time as identified through the test pitting strategy. Evidence from new areas of the town was also gained in 2017 with excavation within the housing estates to the south of the High Street that may push the medieval core further west than previously thought. The 2017 results also supported the finds from previous years that showed that Hadleigh suffered quite substantially during the 14th century, due to the range of socio-economic factors prevalent at that time, including the Black Death. The settlement likely shrank and shifted its focus, but it once again began to expand into the post medieval out from the church again to show the layout that is seen today prior to the expanse of 20th century building.