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Chediston 2010

Chediston 2010 Pottery Report

Chediston 2010 Test Pit Location Map

Nine test pits were excavated in Chediston in 2010, bringing the total since 2006 to thirty-nine. As in 2008, test pitting in 2010 focussed mostly on dispersed sites away from the present village core around the church and the settlement along the edge of Chediston Green. Most attention in 2010 focussed on present-day farm sites where test pitting had not previously been carried out, with CHE/10/1 CHE/10/2 at Mountpleasent Farm, 2km west of Chediston church; CHE/10/3 and CHE/10/4 at Paradise Farm, c. 0.75km north of the church and CHE/10/8 and CHE/10/9 at Hernehill, some 1km from the church if travelling along existing roads, but less than distant from it if travelling along a footpath.

With the exception of one test pit at Hernehill which produced a small sherd of Roman pottery (possibly indicating the extent of the Roman arable), none of the 2010 pits around Chediston yielded any material predating c. 1100 AD. At Mountpleasant Farm, medieval sandy wares dating to 1100-1400 AD were produced in sufficient quantities (nine and twelve sherds respectively from four largely undisturbed spits) to indicate settlement in the near vicinity in the high medieval period. Two sherds of the same ware from each of the pits at Hernehill may possibly also be indicative of contemporary settlement, although less securely so. Both pits at Paradise Farm produced a single sherd of medieval sandy ware, which would not normally be considered sufficient to infer settlement, but more likely to indicate manuring associated with arable cultivation. However, excavating to greater depth (neither pit was excavated to natural due to time constraints) might have revealed additional material which would change this interpretation as in both pits the medieval sherds were found in the lowest excavated spits. However, it is also interesting to note that the three sites excavated for the first time in 2010, Paradise Farm was the only one where there was any significant drop in the amount of activity represented by the pottery on the later (post fourteenth century) medieval period. Overall, the picture at Chediston seems to be one of a dispersed landscape, developing in a dynamic manner in the later Anglo-Saxon and high medieval periods, with many new elements of the settlement pattern appearing in these centuries, mostly probably taking the form of farms, with little late medieval contraction.