Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


Suffolk County Council Archaeological Dig 2012

Excavating Land to the rear of Friends Field, once known as the Great Orchard.

August 7th > 14th 2012
Suffolk County Council Archaeological Dept are carrying out a survey of this land searching for any sign of previous habitation.

This follows up their initial site visit on June 10th

The land could well be the site of a roman, bronze or medieval settlement.
It fits the roman criteria of utilising a south facing sloping field with a river close-by.
Soil samples will be carbon dated to ascertain date of
ditches, pits and other artifacts.


An archaeological excavation was carried out in advance of a residential development on a plot of land to the south of Friends Field, Bures St Mary.

The excavation followed on from a previous evaluation which had identified a number of undated ditches and a single pit of possible prehistoric date.

It comprised an open area around the pit and a series of trenches targeting the predicted locations of ditch junctions to confirm their relationships and to obtain dating evidence.

Within the open area a further five pits were recorded. All the pits finally recorded form a linear group that appear to be associated although their purpose could not be positively determined.

Three of these pits contained small fragments of medieval pottery although a significant amount of medieval pottery was recovered from a subsoil layer, interpreted as a hillwash, suggesting these may be residual finds in later features. Two medieval silver hammered coins were also recovered from the subsoil layer.

The targeted ditch junctions confirmed that the majority of the ditches were probably related. A small amount of medieval pottery was recovered from the fills and they appeared to be partially sealed by the hillwash layer indicating a probable medieval date for these features.

A ditch on the south-east side of the development area exhibited a later re-cut. This ditch is coincidental to the existing edge of the development are indicating that medieval pattern of plot boundaries is partly preserved in the modern layout of the village.

Three sherds of Roman pottery were also recovered from the ditch fills.

These are residual finds that indicate Roman activity in the vicinity of the site. (Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service for CgMs Consulting).

Medieval Pottery found on site
Various Small Finds
Medieval Copper Fob seal No 1 Weight 5 gms L 19mm W 17mm A personal seal which is slightly
alloy matrix worn with some chipping to the
seal face. The seal has theimage of a sleeping lion and is inscribed with the motto 'Wake
me no ma'
Medieval Silver Coin No1 1gm 14mm Very worn example of a long
cross penny dated from AD1247
to 1279. The lettering is
illegible and the bust on
obverse is barely visible. Only
three pellets can be seen on
Medieval Silver Coin No1 2gm 19mm Half of a short cross penny
dated from AD1180 to 1247.
The coin is very worn and
nothing can be seen on the
obverse. The reverse has a
voided short cross and two
quarter foils can also be seen.
Unknown Copper Metalwork No1 8gm 27gm 20mm A fragment of metalworking alloy debris debris which is worn and
irregularly shaped.
Medieval Silver Coin 1 1gm 15mm A fragment (around one third)
of a long cross penny dated
from AD1247 to 1279. The
obverse is completely worn.
The reverse displays three
pellets and two partial letters.

<<Photo Left clearly shows remnants of old
drainage channel in sub-soil
Information courtesy of the Archaeological Unit
Suffolk County Council, Bury St Edmunds