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North Warnborough 2013

North Warnborough 2013 Pottery Report

North Warnborough 2013 Test Pit Location Map


11 test pits were excavated in North Warnborough in 2013.  The only closely datable material earlier than c. 1100 AD was a single sherd of Romano-British pottery, found in NWA/13/4, near the present canal at Swan Bridge. Although of a reasonable size (10g), the presence of just one sherd is not enough to confidently infer settlement in the vicinity, and it is notable that it came from less than 30cm below the surface in deposits which overlay others with later material of medieval, post-medieval and modern date, so may be a secondary deposit, perhaps associated with digging the canal.  No pottery of Anglo-Saxon date was recovered from any of the 2013 pits, but seven of them produced material of high medieval date.  Small single sherds only were recovered from three of these (NWA/13/2, 3 and 5), unlikely to indicate settlement in the immediate vicinity, although possibly indicative of arable manuring, an explanation that certainly seems plausible for NWA/13/2 and 3, west of the main village street.  NWA/13/11 produced two sherds of this date, again from disturbed deposits near the canal containing later material.  On balance, it seems likely that these too are likely to relate to agricultural rather than settlement activity.  Test pits NWA/13/04, /06 and /07, however, produced large amounts of pottery which does seem likely to indicate settlement in the immediate vicinity. These sites are all located along Bridge Road as it runs north to become Hook Road, suggesting that this part of North Warnborough was inhabited at this time.  Several pits produce Surrey whitewares, perhaps hinting at householders with the resources to acquire somewhat better-than-average pottery.

The late medieval period is in stark contrast, as only one pit (NWA/13/06) produced any pottery of this date, and here just a single small (5g) sherd was found.  Certainly, on present evidence, the north end of the village suffered very badly. If the pits excavated in 2013 are typical of the rest of North Warnborough, the settlement would appear to have been almost entirely deserted in the period after the 14th century. The community appears to have recovered in the post-medieval period, as pottery of this date is present in all bar one (NWA/13/09) of the excavated pits.