Gaywood Valley Archaeological & Historical Project

Great Massingham

First Weekend - Test Pits/Shovel Test Pits and Grid Walking

The plan of the field, showing the fieldwalking squares.

The sketch to the right shows the field walking grid for the investigation carried out by field-walkers on Sunday 14th April. Each of the squares was fieldwalked separately and any finds bagged and labelled. There were two groups of six walkers who carried out the study and each square was walked for 10 minutes.

The finds were quite diverse as the surface soil was very distrubed by ploughing over the centuries, with fragments of clay pipes and rusted horseshoes being found close to worked flint from prehistoric times.

We had a large number of walkers for this event some from King's Lynn & West Norfolk Archaeology Society but also interested members of the public from the local Gaywood Valley community.

Training on recognising recording any artefacts found was provided by society members and by archaeologists from the Historical Environment Service at Gressinghall. Link Here

Second Weekend - Test Pits Around the Village

Recording details of Test Pit 3 in Eve's Cottage partway through the excavations.

For the second weekend we had two distinguished academics from Cambridge University on the team. We were also joined by members of the local community who wanted to actively partisipate in the excavations. The weekend was hot and we set off in small groups to dig a series of test pits in private gardens and public spaces.

Our team were allocated to Eve's Cottage a home that had previusly been a terrace of workman's cottage set on, and at right angles to the green. The cottages were also very close to the former Abbey so we had some hopes of (perhaps) finding some links to this religious establishment. We sited the pit in the rear garden on a small rise hoping that this would be the remains of some previous features. The test pit was very productive with the top layers yielding metalwork, charcoal/coal and some pottery sherds. Most of these appeared to be 19th centuary in origin although there was some green-glazed pieces that possibly were of medieval dating. Further down there were a couple of coins that again looked modern and we concluded that we were probably digging through a rubbish heap from the cottages.

Interview with Archaeology Student

This is an interview with Martha, an archaeology student from Cambridge University, who discusses the Test Pit excavations at Great Massingham carried out at the end of July 2013.

Great Massingham 28th July 2013

Great Massingham Test Pit Interview
West Norfolk &
Kings Lynn
Archaeological Society