skip to primary navigationskip to content

Little Hallingbury 2010

Little Hallingbury 2010 Pottery Report

Little Hallingbury 2010 Test Pit Location Map

Ten test pits were excavated in 2010 in Little Hallingbury, bringing the total to fifty-four. Most of the 2010 sites were sited in order to fill gaps in between previously excavated areas, with several in the northern part of the present village along the main road. Two test pits in the area east of Wallbury fort have now produced a small number of sherds (three in total) of high medieval date, and it may be that this area was the focus of some sort of activity at this time, possibly relating to settlement of limited extent and intensity. It is clear however, that the period at which this area came into more intensive occupation was later, probably around 1700 AD or later. This probably relates to the development of the north-south road from Bishop's Stortford to Chelmsford. As in previous years, no pottery of late Anglo-Saxon date was found in any of the 2010 test pits: it seems increasingly clear that later Anglo-Saxon period activity in the area occupied by the present village was minimal or non-existent. Settlement in the high medieval period (eleventh to fourteenth century) was clearly of a dispersed form, arranged as perhaps seven or so thinly scattered small hamlets or farmsteads which probably developed as a result of assarting in a woodland area which had been largely uninhabited since the Roman period. Two test pits in 2010 near the church produced very little pottery of medieval date found, supporting the inference that the medieval church was not immediately adjacent to any area of contemporary intensive settlement. The later medieval period (mid 14th to mid 16th century) appears to see little significant contraction of settlement, although there is a certain amount of shift between the various elements of the dispersed settlement, some of which appear to be depopulated while others produce pottery for the first time. This is also the period which seems to see the first signs of a shift of focus towards the area between the church and the main road, with all of the pits in this area producing pottery of later medieval date, albeit only in small quantities in some instances. The overall effect is, however, of a nucleated settlement in this area where previously the settlement pattern had been much more diffuse.