Test Pit 7

Test Pit 7. 53 Low Street (HXN 066)

Property description and location

53/54 Low Street is a Grade II listed building (NHLE No. 1032517) dating to the late 15th/early 16th century. The properties were originally one house, possibly an open hall. Fronting onto Low Street green the property is clearly shown on the Tithe map (named in the apportionment as 'Cottage and Garden' and owned by Sir Edward Kerrison) and the 1st Edition OS.

Test Pit description

Pit 7

The test pit was located c.3.5m north of the property where the garden forms a gap along the street frontage. Set back c.2m from the roadside boundary, and broadly at the base of the natural south-facing slope the pit was in an area of rough ground formerly occupied by a coal shed. Ground level was c.0.8m above the road and pavement, the garden being held back by a roadside revetment wall.

The upper 0.15m, Context 1, consisted of mixed dark sand/silt soils and concrete. This overlaid a 0.2m thick layer, Context 2, of brown/orange sand and gravel. Context 3, a compact mid brown sandy clay then formed a layer 0.15m thick across the entire pit, whereupon the natural yellow/orange sand subsoil was exposed in the northern 0.3m. Context 3 then infilled a large feature that cut into the subsoil with a near vertical side aligned west to east, and was seen to extend to a depth of at least 0.7m.

Test Pit finds summary

Pit 7

Small quantities of GRE were recovered, together with pottery dating to the Victorian period or later. Post-medieval ceramic building material, clay pipe fragments, glass and a wooden bead were amongst the artefacts recovered.

Test Pit Discussion

A brief examination of the property, which was undergoing renovation works during the project, by David Gill of SCCAS, indicates that at least one bay has been lost from the original northern end of the structure, presumably prior to at least 1885 when the building is shown as it currently stands with a large gap in the road frontage on the 1st Edition OS. Assuming that No.53 is formed from another bay, and No. 54 perhaps a further two, then the approximate position of the original northern wall of the missing bay would be in the vicinity of the Test Pit. This in turn suggests that the substantial cut feature seen in the pit may represent the edge of a terrace dug into the natural slope for the original building footprint.

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 ? Yes Yes Yes Yes 1 wooden bead
2 1 ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3 1 Yes % uncertain Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Details of Pottery Finds

Spit No Context No Display/ Keep? Post Med/ modern Medieval Details
1 1 Yes Victorian +
2 1 Yes Victorian + 1 abraded GRE
3 1 Yes Victorian and GRE 16th-18th C