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Little Hallingbury 2009

Little Hallingbury 2009 Pottery Report

Little Hallingbury April 2009 Test Pit Location Map

Little Hallingbury October 2009 Test Pit Location Map

Sixteen test pits were excavated in 2009 in Little Hallingbury, bringing the total to forty-four. Most of the 2009 sites were sited in order to fill gaps in between previously excavated areas, with a particular focus on Gaston Green and the area around the church, where little evidence for medieval activity was found in previous years. As in 2008, no further evidence of occupation dating to the middle Anglo-Saxon period (c. 650-850AD) was found and, as in all previous years, no pottery of late Anglo-Saxon date was found in any of the pits. Although extrapolations made from negative evidence from test pitting across a large area must always be regarded with great caution, the fact that nearly fifty test pits have now been excavated in Little Hallingbury with none producing as much as single sherd of pottery dating to the ninth to eleventh centuries does suggest that activity in the later Anglo-Saxon period in the area occupied by the present village was minimal or non-existent. Evidence for the high medieval period (eleventh to fourteenth century) suggest the settlement pattern then took the form of a dispersed pattern of at least six thinly scattered small hamlets or farmsteads. The disposition of these, in an area of extensive woodland in the eleventh century, suggests they may have originated as a result of assarting. The area immediately around the church is largely devoid of finds of this date: settlement in this area appears instead to favour the current main road which leads north-west to the small town of Bishops Stortford. Three of the high medieval hamlets at Little Hallingbury have no evidence for activity in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, possibly as a result of late medieval contraction. In the post medieval period settlement appears to be arranged as four separate hamlets, including Gaston Green, a probable interrupted row arrangement along the main road and, for the first time since the early Bronze Age, a cluster of settlement in the area immediately around the church.