All posts by stourarch

Exciting discoveries at Clare Castle


The trustees of Clare Castle Country Park and Suffolk Archaeology are running a HLF funded dig in the castle’s outer bailey during September 2018. Four trenches have been opened up to investigate anomalies revealed by geophysical surveys.

Probable walls made of stone and peg tiles, a large cobbled surface and lumps of daub with wattle impressions have been found in Trench 1. Late medieval jug handles have been found in Trench 2. Meanwhile in Trench 4 there is evidence of an oven and pieces of late Saxon Thetford Ware .

Do keep an eye on the blog for updates and if you’d like to visit there will be an open day on Sunday 23rd September from 12 noon until 4pm. 


A very happy and successful Romano British weekend.

16th to 17th June 2018 was a very productive weekend on our Romano British site. Steady progress was made on two of the Romano British features in Old Barn Field.

Peter Hart earned the title ‘a new star in the firmament’ by making a very useful plan of area G26.

In trench A the area aligned east to west was deepened to reveal an interesting black linear feature close to a rich deposit of pottery. Work continued on the north to south trench revealing evidence of a ditch which produced more pottery.


Trench A on Sunday

The complexity of trench A, with it’s numerous different colours of soil was unravelled on Sunday afternoon when clay and brick expert Peter Minter visited and explained the Ice Age geological processes that created it.


Peter Minter visits the site on Sunday 16th June




Meanwhile in area G26 the SVCA dish of happiness was served up on Saturday when half a Roman bowl was found on a bed of burnt clay and other pottery  in an area of black soil.

The Roman bowl on it’s bed of burnt clay and other pottery 

Animal teeth were found in a nearby black deposit, intriguingly hinting at further ritual use of the ditch.

On Saturday evening a digger extended G26 to the east. The newly revealed area was dug on Sunday. This required some heavy mattocking of hard clay, but our efforts were rewarded when the dark, ditch area was revealed to be less curved than previously thought. Finding Roman pottery cheered up the flagging diggers and ex dancer Diana celebrated by elegantly performing a celebratory jig!






SVCA members help out at the Foxearth ILAF


Jane Crone and Alan Border with two year 9 students from Ramsey School.


SVCA members helped out at the Cambridge University Independent Learning Archaeology Field School, which was held at Foxearth in Essex this week. Over two days students from Ramsey School in Halstead and Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury had the opportunity to investigate test pits in seven locations within the village. On the third day of their course they had the opportunity to visit Cambridge University Archaeology Department.

Jane Crone, SVCA committee member reported. ‘It was great working alongside the students, introducing them to archaeology through fieldwork. Hopefully this event will inspire some of them to join local groups or even consider studying archaeology at university.’

For more information about ILAFs take a look at Access Cambridge Archaeology website



Digging on despite the weather – part 2!

IMG_20180506_153524Yesterday’s digging – in complete contrast to last week’s – took place under clear blue skies and in 23ºC.

The southern area of G26 was extended further and small quantities of pottery and flint were found there. The slot in the northern part of G26 was widened and extended in a southerly direction, small pieces of Iron age pottery were uncovered. Our aim is to find out how far the dark area in the southern end extends and if it reaches the northern area.

Star find was the blackened remains of a leaf in an undisturbed layer of clay within the northern part of G26.


Digging on despite the weather!!!


Despite disappointing weather we decided to return to Trench G26 today in order to further investigate the north and south ends and the possible curvature of the black area already identified.

The southern area was further taken back in a southerly direction. Pottery was found in association with black charcoal and ash. Some pottery was associated with the flint area, flints being embedded around the pottery. Soil samples were taken and the pottery finds included some large black rims.

In the northern area finds included a small fragment of glass, a piece of wood – associated with charcoal deposits – and degraded terracotta pottery. The north western corner contained some flint microliths and discards.