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Little Hallingbury 2007 Pottery Report

Little Hallingbury 2007 Test Pit Location Map

Thirteen 1m2 test pits were dug in 2007 by year 10 children from five local schools and one excavated by pupils at Little Hallingbury Primary School. The latter, rather unexpectedly, revealed an undisturbed Bronze Age horizon, with 20 sherds of pottery (52g weight in total) and several very fresh flint flakes found in a layer with no later material just 0.4m below the surface. Thereafter, however, activity in this area seems to have been very much less intensive for several thousand years. A single sherd of Romano-British greyware from LHA/07/12 indicates Roman activity of some sort somewhere nearby but is not suggestive of intensive activity in the immediate vicinity. A total of six test pits excavated near the church revealed nothing of Anglo-Saxon date and limited quantity of medieval material (one sherd of early medieval sandy ware from LHA/07/2 and four from LHA/07/P). Activity in the area around the church, it seems on current evidence, may have been of limited extent and/or intensity until the post-medieval period.

Other parts of Little Hallingbury were more productive. Ipswich Ware (720-850 AD) was recovered from two separate locations, one (a single large sherd weighing 25g from LHA/07/1) on the edge of Gaston Green and the other (LHA07/6), more than a kilometre away, from within the garden of the moated site on the easternmost margins of the present village, a site which also produced seven sherds of Romano-British greyware. Three of these sherds were residual within a beamslot which also contained a large piece of Ipswich Ware, which was itself one of four from this test pit. This evidence points clearly to the presence of Roman occupation nearby succeeded by a previously unknown substantial timber-framed building of middle Saxon date. Nothing dating to the later Anglo-Saxon period was recovered, but LHA/07/6 also produced seven sherds of medieval sandy ware (dating to 1100-1400 AD) and five sherds of late medieval transitional ware. The latter were all found in a single post hole, thereby dated to between 1400 and 1500AD, which was intrusive into middle Saxon beamslot. The presence of four sherds of medieval sandy ware in LHA/07/8 at Wright's Green brings to three the number of separate areas which produced sufficient quantities 110-1400 AD pottery to tentatively indicate settlement. Further test pitting is planned for Little Hallingbury in 2008.