Local Archaeology News

Group News

The Lutterworth Fieldworking & Archaeology Group have dug two further test pits in their project at Walton. An evening event in the village hall, displaying their finds and giving a presentation to the villagers, was attended by around 40 people with all proceeds going to the hall charity. Following the talk they have been asked to dig three more test pits.

An iron shoe patten from a test pit in Walton. Possibly Georgian. Pattens were protective overshoes. Worn outdoors over a normal shoe, they had a wooden or later wood and metal sole, and were held in place by leather or cloth bands. Pattens functioned to elevate the foot above the mud and dirt of the street, in a period when road and urban paving was minimal. Image: LAFG.

Additional test pits are being dug at Shawell during September.

A Hans Krauwinkel I Nuremberg jetton (1553-1573) from a test pit in Shawell. The inscription says Gotes Segen Macht Reich, which translated is God’s blessing brings riches. Image: LAFG.

The Oadby & Wigston Fieldwork Group have resumed fieldwalking around Laughton, Mowsley and Theddingworth with a number of fields still to be done when the crops are harvested. They have also resumed test-pitting in the Brocks Hill area of Oadby and have found more Roman and Anglo-Saxon pottery in their target area. In September they have invited Peter Liddle as their guest speaker to mark their return to face-to-face meetings. Thanks are also due to members such as Colin Towell, Michael Bates, Dave Collins, Iain Jones and Peter Cousins who organised successful events during the Festival of Archaeology.

FLAG have now opened to the public the consolidated foundations of the manor house at Croxton Kerrial that they have excavated. Congratulations to Tony Connolly and his team. Find out more about the site and the excavations at https://croxtonkerrialheritagetrust.home.blog/ and http://framlandarchaeology.co.uk/

Melton Fieldwork Group are planning to resume their fieldwork at Garthorpe and Coston and have put together a winter lecture series.

Excavation News

The University of Leicester’s training excavation for students at Castle Hill, Beaumont Leys produced more evidence for the medieval establishment of the Knights Hospitaller. Two previous seasons of community excavation had revealed buildings and a well with preserved timbers. This year the end of the main hall was revealed with an additional wing. The buildings had slate roofs with ceramic ridge tiles and pottery suggested it was occupied between the mid-13th and late 14th century after which the site was abandoned.

Aerial view of the excavation of the Hospitaller manor house. The walls for the southern end of the main hall are visible at the bottom of the photo with the additional wing to the right. Image: AerialCam/ULAS.
Some finds from the 2021 dig. Left – part of a glazed medieval roof tile with a decorative crest. Right – a silver short-cross penny of Henry III, minted 1236-1242, around the time the Hospitallers acquired the manor at Beaumont. Images: ULAS.

A section across the outer rectangular enclosure bank and ditch showed that the ditch was very substantial. Medieval pottery was found beneath the enclosure bank, proving once and for all that it is a medieval monument and not an Iron Age hillfort. ULAS will be putting up more information online soon so keep an eye on https://ulasnews.com/ for more updates.

A section excavated across the enclosure’s outer bank and ditch. Image: ULAS.

At Rothley Broadnook Garden Suburb, north of Birstall, an archaeological excavation was carried out by ULAS in August, following on from an evaluation in 2017. Several small open area excavations were undertaken revealing a small quantity of ditches, gullies, and pits, mainly undated, some with Iron Age pottery. A larger open-area excavation will follow, focusing on an Iron Age farmstead settlement.

At Church Langton trial trenching by ULAS revealed pits, post holes and ditches of possible late Iron Age/early Roman date. One of the ditches had a particularly rich fill and produced metal working evidence in the form of a hearth bottom slag.

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At Nether Broughton Trent and Peak Archaeology with help from ULAS excavated an area on the edge of the village in advance of new housing. A rectangular pit was believed to be an Anglo-Saxon SFB (sunken featured building or grubenhaus). A series of ditches appeared to be plot boundaries of Late Saxon date. Post holes and pits may relate to buildings but need to be resolved. At the end of the excavation a good group of flint, probably of Neolithic date, was also recovered.

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At Bitteswell Groundwork Archaeology found a scatter of undated and probably Roman period ditches with later features, subsequently truncated by ridge and furrow. A couple of gullies appeared to cross backfilled Roman features but were then cut by ridge and furrow so may be Saxon. There were also some medieval/post-medieval animal burials – separately a calf and a cow.