St Mary's Church, Aston Somerville, Worcestershire. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-312934)

Urban Archaeology, 2018

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1048385
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Urban Archaeology (2018) St Mary's Church, Aston Somerville, Worcestershire. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-312934) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1048385

Introduction

St Mary's Church, Aston Somerville, Worcestershire. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-312934)

On the 6th and 7th June 2018 Urban Archaeology carried out an evaluation at St Mary's church, Aston Somerville, Worcestershire on behalf of the Diocese of Gloucester. Two test pits were excavated by the east wall of the chancel. Natural ground was not observed in either test pit, in both pits a similar layer of redeposited sandy silt was recorded to a depth of up to 1.03m below present ground level. Two sherds of pottery provide a terminus post quem of the late 11th century for these deposits.

A human skeleton was probably cut into the redeposited clay layer; the burial itself is undated, however it is mostly likely to have a terminus post quem of the late 11th century. Given the presence of a church on the site from at least c1200, it seems probable that the burial is part of a churchyard cemetery, extending eastwards of the earliest church. The substantial foundation of the chancel was exposed, extending 0.75m east of the superstructure and to approximately 0.8m depth. The chancel has been suggested to be from the Norman period due to the tympanum of c1200 above the priest's door, however this appears to be reused. An arrowhead of M4 type suggests a terminus post quem of the 14th century for the construction of the chancel, although it may replace an earlier, smaller, chancel located further west.

It is clear that any works at the east end of the church have the potential to impact on archaeological deposits, including burials. The evaluation has demonstrated that there are substantial foundations, however given that natural substrate was not encountered in either test pit, the nature of soft archaeological deposits at the east end of the church is harder to predict. The results of the evaluation are of local significance only and no further work is recommended on the site archive, although should further work be carried out the results should be integrated into the final report.