skip to primary navigationskip to content

Rickinghall and Botesdale 2017

Rickinghall & Botesdale 2017 Test Pit Location Map

Rickinghall & Botesdale 2017 Test Pit Pottery Report


In early May 2017 a total of 6 1m square archaeological test pits were excavated in both Rickinghall and Botesdale by 24 Year 9 and Year 12 students from Sybil Andrews Academy and the King Edward VI School and were dug as part of the Independent Learning Archaeology Field School (ILAFS) programme, formally known as the Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) programme undertaken by Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) in East Anglia, which aims to raise the aspirations, enthusiasm and attainment of 14-17 year-olds with regard to higher education by making a valuable contribution to current academic research at the University of Cambridge, into the development of rural communities and settlements in the past.

2017 was the first year of excavation in Rickinghall and Botesdale and the test pits were focused in the northern extent of Rickinghall and the southern half of Botesdale. A single test pit in Botesdale (RAB/17/6) produced Bronze Age pottery and hints at the presence of activity in this area given its location on the slightly higher ground. No Roman or Anglo Saxon activity was recorded in this year but three of the test pits produced pottery of high medieval date (RAB/17/1, RAB/17/5 and RAB/17/6), with a subsequent shift in the settlement into the later medieval when there may have been a contraction in the village due to the many socio-economic factors of the 14th century, including the Black Death. However with only a small number of test pits that were excavated this is difficult to prove. The settlement continued to expand again into the post medieval and continued to develop into the conjoined villages that are present today.