Test Pit 32

Test Pit 32. Gissing Farmhouse, South Green (HXN 072)

Property description and location

Pit 32

Gissing Farmhouse is a Grade II listed building (NHER No. 1032484) dating to the 16th/17th century. The property is located c.250 north of Redhouse Farm, Colby's Farm and a medieval moated site at South Green (HXN 011), and itself lies behind two roadside ponds which perhaps suggest a second possible moated site. The property is only faintly shown by Skynners and so was not part of the Maynard lands in 1757. The tithe map clearly shows the property, nearby farm buildings and ponds (named in the apportionment as 'Gissings Farm' and owned by Sir Edward Kerrison) and the layout has changed little since although there are various recent farm buildings, particularly to the east of the house and south at South Green.

Test Pit description

Pit 32

The Test Pit was located c.4m from the centre of the original rear wall of the property on a slight hump in the lawn which then descended slightly to the north. The pit showed a c.0.4m thick garden topsoil with chalk flecks, Context 1, which then gradually changed to a denser mid/dark brown clay/silt with occasional flints and frequent charcoal/chalk flecks, Context 2. At the base of the pit (c.1m deep) there was a gradual change to a mid orange/brown clay/silt with charcoal inclusions which suggested the pit was nearing the natural clay subsoil.

Test Pit finds summary

Pit 5

Two medieval sherds were recovered from Spit 4 and 5 of this pit (Contexts 1 and 2), dating to the late 12th-14th century. Fragments of LMT dating to the 15th-16th century were also identified, including fragments of a jar, and sherds of GRE were present, all mixed with later pottery dating to the Victorian period or later. Quantities of post-medieval ceramic building material, glass and iron nails were identified. Spits 5-10 (Context 2) contained quantities of pottery of approximately the same date range, including two particular vessels which were present throughout several of the spits. Fragments of a Martincamp flask (Type 3) were found in Spits 5, 6, and 7 (Context 2). This vessel which was made in Northern France has a hard, orange wheelthrown fabric and is likely to date to the 17th century (Hurst 1986 103-4). Sherds of the same Dutch- type redware tripod skillet were present in Spits 5, 6, 7 (Context 2) also, dating from the 15th-17th centuries. Other locally made redwares were present in these spits, including several fragments of Local Post-medieval ware (LEPM) dating to the 16th century. Small quantities of IGBW and GRE were also recovered. Spits 8, 9 and 10 (Context 2) contained fragments of Frechen Rhenish stoneware, in the form of cordoned jug fragments. A large sherd of a plain ovoid Frechen jug from Spit 7 (Context 2) is likely to date from the late 16th to the first half of the 17th century. Very small quantities of clay tobacco pipe were present in Spits 6 and 8 (Context 2) confirming a seventeenth century date for the deposition of this material.

Test Pit Discussion

The Test Pit showed that under the mixed modern topsoil there was a thick preserved post-medieval deposit containing a relatively rich range of pottery and other material from the 16th/17th century and the early occupation of the property. Although two medieval sherds hint at an earlier phase of occupation on the site these were found towards the top of the post-medieval deposit or in the topsoil and so are clearly residual.

Table of Finds

Spit No Context No Sieved? Display/ Keep? Pottery Post Med/ modern Medieval CBM Fired Clay Mortar/ Plaster Clay Pipe Glass Flint Slate Plastic Iron Nails Iron Other Other Metalwork Animal Bone Oyster Shell Land Snail Comments
1 1 100% 1? of 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Bone has incised '5'
2 1 100% 1? of 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3 1 100% Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Modern Metalwork
4 1 100% 1 of 3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Copper frag.
5 2 100% 3 of 4 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes And fishbone. Also small copper dress pin. 19th c pot intrusive?
5 2 100% Yes Yes Yes Yes Post-med CBM
6 2 100% 4 of 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
7 2 100% 2 of 3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
8 2 100% 2 of 3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
9 2 100% 3 of 4 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Unpatinated struck flint, poss prehistoric or later
10 2 100% Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Includes horncore

Details of Pottery Finds

Spit No Context No Display/ Keep? Post Med/ modern Medieval Details
1 1 1? of 2 Yes 12 x LMT several (15th-16th c) inc jar, + Victorian +
2 1 1? of 2 Yes 4 x LMT several (15th-16th C), GRE + Victorian +
3 1 Yes GRE + IGBW (16th-18th C), Victorian +
4 1 1 of 3 Yes Yes? 1 ?Medieval glazed ware, 1 LMT, GRE & unglazed/early post-medieval + Victorian +
5 2 3 of 4 Yes LMT X 10 (15-16th C), 1 x MART type 3 (17th C), 2 x LEPM (16th C), 1 FREC (1550-1700), 1 RAER (16th C), 1 x DUTR/GRE (15-17th C), 2 x IRST (19th C)
5 2 Yes Yes 1 MCW (L12th-14th C)
6 2 4 of 5 Yes 5 x GRE/DUTR (15-17th c), LMT x 11 (15-16th C), 2 unglazed LMT, 1 x IGBW (16-18th c), 2 MART (17th c), 2 x GRE (16-18th C)
7 2 2 of 3 Yes 7 X LMT (15-16th C), 1 x LEPM (16th C), 2 MART (17th C), 1 RAER (15-16th c), 1 FREC jug (L16th-1st half 17th c), 5 GRE/PMRW (16-18th C), 3 DUTR/GRE (15-17th C).
8 2 2 of 3 Yes 1 x FREC (1550-1700), 10 LMT (15-16th C), 7 GRE (16th-18th C), 1 LEPM (16th C), 1 x IGBW (16-18th C)
9 2 3 of 4 Yes 2 x IGBW (16th-18th c), GRE x 1 (16th-18th c), LMT/LEPM x 14 (15-16th C), GRE x 7 (16-18th C), FREC (17th C), DUTR x 1 (15-16th C), GRE rim x 1
10 2 Yes 1 X FREC jug (l16-17th c), 2 X LMT (15-16th C), 2 GRE (16th-18th c)