Medieval Wellingbrough unearthed

Excavation underway.
Excavation underway.

Wayne Jarvis has recently completed an archaeological excavation at The Dun Cow Public House in Wellingborough (Northamptonshire), following on from a programme of trial trenching earlier this year. The site lies in the area of the former medieval settlement of Wellingborough, within a tenement group fronting Broad Green which forms part of the northern gateway into the town centre, and which appears to have been the focus of the manor held by the Earl of Leicester in the 12th century.

Excavations have now revealed a dense concentration of features distributed across the stripped area. Although initially thought to represent backyard activity from a lost frontage to the west on Gold Street, the evidence suggests it is more likely to be long-term activity associated with a second frontage to the south, as the concentration is actually denser away from the Gold Street frontage. A range of pit features were excavated, including rubbish pits, probable water pits, and cess pits. Additionally, a pattern of intercutting gullies and structural features running perpendicular to the frontage were recorded representing plot boundaries. The pits could be seen to respect these boundary lines. Several hearths were also excavated including a stone-lined example. Pottery from the features indicates domestic activity most likely in the 12th-13th centuries, with a good assemblage of regional wares including Stamford Ware. A quantity of animal bone was also found, probably largely from domestic butchery but with some hints at bone-working too.

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