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Walberswick 2013

Walberswick 2013 Pottery Report

Walberswick 2013 Test Pit Location Map


Nine test pits were excavated at Walberswick by HEFA students in 2013, with sites widely distributed throughout the existing settlement. A significant amount (16 sherds) of Romano-British pottery was found in WAL/13/06, on the southern margins of the present settlement at Elfinston Corner, well beyond the limit of the 19th century settlement but close to the area which has produce Roman as well as medieval material during field-walking. None of the other pits produced any material of this date, possibly indicating that the Romano-British settlement did not extend far under the area occupied by the present settlement.

Just one site produced any material possibly pre-dating the Norman period, and although this amounted to just a single small sherd it was interesting to note that it came from WAL/13/02, along Leverett’s Lane, perhaps indicating that this area, presumed to be marshy grazing may have seen more intensive use at this time. All bar one (WAL/13/03) of the pits produced 12th - 14th century pottery, with five of these (WAL/13/01-/02 and WAL/13/05-/07) producing this in quantities strongly suggestive of settlement in the immediate vicinity, at the eastern end of the present settlement and south-east of the church. This was particularly notable because the presence of medieval pottery and building debris on the Oldtown Marshes had suggested that the present settlement site might be the results of late medieval relocation and not predate the 15th century. The test pit data clearly indicates that this is not the case and that intensive activity was occurring across much of the existing settlement, including Leverett’s Lane. 

Unusually, a number of the pits produced more late medieval material than high, notably WAL/13/03-04 and WAL/13/08. The latter was the closest site to the church, and produced just a single small (2g) sherd 12th - 14th century pottery but five sherds of later 14th - 16th century material. Overall, while the volume of later medieval pottery from Walberswick is less than for the high medieval period, there is no dramatic decline, and little sign of any reduction in the number of sites producing material at this date.