The main story this week is Medieval quarry pits: lots of them, and big! It looks like they were quarrying for clay and gravel; sometimes it's difficult to tell one pit from the other, since they seem to be chasing the material they wanted into new pits. We have had some very nice material out of them, including Medieval pottery such as the jug in the picture (right).
The well continues to be excavated in stages: it is excavated to safe and legal depths, the stones and surrounding soil are removed, then the previously uncovered masonry is excavated. Auguring shows that the well is 4m deep, and so far we are finding it is lined with the dressed Priory stone all the way down. We haven't found any waterlogged material yet; the surrounding geology seems to be too well-drained. Current thoughts are that the well dates to c. 1500-1550 (from the pottery evidence) - around the time of the Priory's dissolution.
Elsewhere, we found this piece of dressed stone (one of several shaped pieces), about 50cm long. One hypothesis is that it is an altar leg: any thoughts?
To the southern side of the site, on Harvest Way, new layers are being excavated by mechanical excavator, and outlines of Victorian and Georgian buildings are emerging, including this Victorian floor - possibly an external rather than internal floor. Harvest Way doesn't show up on many of the early maps for the area, but may have been a trackway before it became a road. We are hoping to discover from our excavations whether houses were bordering Harvest Way in the nineteenth century and earlier, or whether these were outbuidings related to the buildings fronting Newmarket Road. We'll keep you updated!
Our small army of volunteers continue to wash the increasing volume of finds from the site. Here's a nice selection of post-medieval pottery which came out of a feature - note the blue and white coloured pottery with a foot drawn on it!