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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 798: summary

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An archaeological watching brief at Little Canfield Hall, Little Canfield, Dunmow, Essex: October 2014
by Stephen Benfield
(with contributions from -)

Date report completed: January 2015
Location: Little Canfield Hall, Little Canfield, Dunmow, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 5853 2192
File size: 6,703 kb
Project type: Archaeological watching brief
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Neolithic, flint, medieval, pottery

Summary. The watching brief encompassed the monitoring of machine- excavated footing trenches and observation of the exposed topsoil surface of a building plot and surfaces of spoil heaps. Although a small number of features were recorded in the footing trenches, no features of archaeological significance were located. Apart from small quantities of finds of post-medieval-modern date associated with the features, only a very small quantity of finds of significant archaeological interest were recovered, all of which were unstratified surface finds or came from existing contractors' spoil. A few worked flints, recovered from the north of the site, can be closely dated to the period of the Early Neolithic and Neolithic-Early Bronze Age. As it stands, the small quantity of flint would indicate only limited activity during this period. Medieval (late 12th- to 13th-century) activity is represented by sherds from a cooking-pot. This vessel appears to be associated with activity at the site, although a significant quantity of medieval pottery of similar date was found among recently imported soil on a different area of the site. Several features were noted in the footing trenches. The extant remains of the lower part of a substantial wood post (probably a post-medieval gate post) were located in one trench. Another, at the rear of the Hall building, exposed a large post-medieval pit and modern structures consisting of an unmortared brick channel and what appeared to be the south edge of an associated unmortared brick box or brick-lined square pit.