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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 531: summary

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An archaeological watching brief, survey and building recording at Great Greenfields, Gransmore Green, Felsted, Essex: September-October 2009
by Adam Wightman and Christopher Lister

Date report completed: December 2009
Location: Great Greenfields, Gransmore Green, Felsted, Essex
Map reference(s): TL69552198
File size: 1210 kb
Project type: Watching brief, moat survey, building recording
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: prehistoric, Roman, pottery, medieval, cut features, moated enclosure, 15th-century, house

Summary. Great Greenfields is a medieval moated enclosure containing a Grade II listed building. Recent building works inside the moated enclosure consisted of the renovation of the listed building (house) and the construction of a western extension (with a basement) to the building. Building works connected with the construction of a cart-lodge and the refurbishment of an existing annexe had no archaeological implications and were not included in this project. During the renovation of the house and the construction of the extension, a three-part archaeological project was undertaken. This work involved a watching brief on the excavation of the pit for the basement for the extension to the house; a detailed survey of the moated enclosure; and a photographic and drawn record of four original windows which were exposed in the listed building during the renovation work.

Pottery from the watching brief indicates that occupation of the site began between the 12th and 14th centuries, sometime before the construction of the house in the 15th century. Other pottery recovered indicates activity here in the prehistoric and Roman periods. However, the main period of activity was medieval. The watching brief identified three medieval features in the pit dug for the basement, including a pit, a ditch, and a deep pit or ?well. Medieval pottery sherds collected from the moat indicate tipping of domestic debris into the moat in the later medieval period.

The survey of the moat has allowed a brief analysis of its form, and a comparison of the current layout of the moated enclosure and its buildings with the cartographic record.