2.7 Periods 7-9: Post-Roman Activity

2.7.1 Period 7: Medieval (Figs.14, 15 and 16)

The main form of post-Roman activity identified on the site was ploughing. Large furrows were observed in Evaluation Trenches A to F, J, L and N; in Trenches 1 and 2; and during the watching brief. The pottery from these furrows dates the ploughing to the later medieval and early post-medieval periods. The furrows were aligned north-south, measured around 5m wide by up to 0.3m deep, and were an average of 7.0m apart, although this distance varied between 4m and 10m. Individual plough furrows were also observed, notably in Trench C (Fig.16). Apart from the extreme north end of the site, very little ploughsoil remained because it had been disturbed by 20th century market gardening.

The ploughing had truncated the Roman deposits, particularly those lying above the surface of the natural. In places in Trench 1, the plough furrows had completely removed the Roman deposits and cut into the natural. However, only the topmost part of the thick Period 6.1 dump deposits adjacent to the Roman road had been truncated because the furrows tapered out around 10.0m south of the road. This is probably because the ploughing respected the road, perhaps because the road acted as a landmark (if it was not still in use) during the medieval period, or it was simply too solid a structure to plough through. The gap between the plough furrows and the road probably marks the position of a headland.

One ditch, 113 in Trench N, is dated by pottery to the medieval period. It was cut by a plough furrow and was aligned east-west, perpendicular to the ridge-and-furrow. This suggests that it was part of an earlier medieval field system that had been superseded by the ridge-and-furrow.

2.7.2 Periods 8 & 9: Post-medieval and modern

An irregular ditch ran east-west across Trench 1, perpendicular to the ridge-and-furrow and cutting the ploughsoil (1142). It was recut at least once (1145). This ditch appears to represent a further reorganisation of the field system, perhaps relating to the enclosure of the parish in 1796. Welton Road was established in 1812, and a terrace of brick houses was subsequently built alongside it. The central part of the terrace was demolished in 1994 to provide access to the new housing development from Welton Road. Earlier this century, the rest of the site was turned over to market gardening, but it had become derelict prior to the excavations.


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Last updated: Tue Nov 28 2000