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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 766: summary

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Archaeological trial-trenching evaluation on land rear of Chapel House, Chapel Green, Little St Mary’s, Long Melford, Suffolk - March 2014
by Ben Holloway
(with contributions from Stephen Benfield, Adam Wightman)

Date report completed: April 2014
Location: land rear of Chapel House, Chapel Green, Little St Mary’s, Long Melford, Suffolk
Map reference(s): TL 863 450 (c)
File size: 2,341 kb
Project type: Evaluation by trial-trenching
Significance of the results: **
Keywords: Roman, occupation, ?building

Summary. An archaeological trial-trenching evaluation was carried out on a proposed residential development to the rear of Chapel House in Long Melford. The evaluation identified 19 archaeological features (pits, post-holes, ditches), almost all of which can be dated to the Roman period. The Roman pits contained broken domestic debris and construction material, and some evidence for industrial waste in the form of horn-cores. There may have been a post-built structure in the southern part of the site, but whether this was a fence or a building is not known. The more closely-dated Roman finds are of 1st- and 2nd- to 3rd century date - there is no indication of Late Roman (mid/late 3rd- to 4th-century) activity. There is some evidence that the Roman settlement followed Late Iron Age occupation, and a few prehistoric flints and a sherd may indicate earlier prehistoric activity here. There was one late medieval pit. The depth and nature of the soils sealing the archaeological features is consistent with soil generated by normal horticultural and market gardening activities. No archaeological strata or features were exposed which would be considered for preservation in situ. The results from the evaluation are broadly consistent with those from other sites investigated in areas rear of the street frontage along the main road through Long Melford. Although Roman burials have been found on other Long Melford sites, there were none here. It is considered very likely that further archaeological work will be required by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service (SCCAS).