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7.1 Urbanism
  1. How did the major towns and smaller market towns of the region develop after the Norman Conquest, both within the urban core and in suburban and extra-mural areas?
  2. Can we define more closely the industrial and trading activities associated with towns and the nature and extent of urban influence upon the countryside?
  3. How may we enhance our understanding of the chronology, functions and morphology of caves, and in particular the outstanding subterranean resource of medieval Nottingham?
  4. Can we shed further light upon the commercial role of fairs, markets, ports and other trading centres (notably Boston)?
7.2 Rural settlement
  1. How can we elucidate further the development of nucleated villages, and in particular the contribution of the Danelaw to changes in village morphology?
  2. How can we shed further light upon the origin and development of dispersed hamlets and farms in champion and pastoral areas?
  3. How can we improve our understanding of the form, evolution and functions of buildings within rural settlements and establish the extent of surviving medieval fabrics?
  4. Can we clarify further the processes of settlement desertion and shrinkage, especially within zones of dispersed settlement?

7.3 Manors and manorial estates

  1. How can the classification of moated and non-moated manorial sites be improved?
  2. How did the medieval manor and manorial estates develop from the Anglo-Saxon period, and what was the impact of the Danelaw?
  3. Can we improve our knowledge and classification of moated sites in the region, and how can environmental data add to our knowledge?
  4. What standing buildings are present on moated sites and what functions may associated features found during survey have performed?
  5. How did manor buildings develop over time, how may architectural styles have varied, and what can we learn about traditional constructional skills and designs?

7.4 Castles, military sites and country houses

  1. How can studies of the region's buildings contribute to an understanding of castle origins, and can we identify local typologies of castles and country houses?
  2. What was the date and function of currently undated minor motte and bailey castles?
  3. How many castle sites have been lost within the region?
  4. Was there continuity of location between castles and country houses, and are earlier structures concealed in later buildings?
  5. What local resources were used for building and maintenance and what was the environmental context and economic impact of these buildings?
  6. How should battlefield sites be further investigated?

7.5 Religion

  1. Can we identify additional pre-Conquest church, minster and monastic sites and elucidate the development of later monastic settlement (particularly the regionally important Gilbertine and Templar orders)?
  2. Can we discern significant differences in the planning, economy and landscape impact of the different monastic orders (e.g. Witham Valley)?
  3. Can we elucidate further the development of hospitals and colleges?
  4. Can we shed further light upon the distribution and development of early churches or chapels and the origins and growth of the parish system?
  5. How can we refine our understanding of local and regional architectural styles, including sculptured stonework, decorations and monuments?
  6. What may we deduce from scientific analyses of cemetery populations about changes in diet, mortality and other demographic variables, both within the region and between social groups?

7.6 Industry and trade

  1. How and where was post-Conquest pottery manufactured and distributed, and what communication systems were employed?
  2. By what means were the extractive mineral industries controlled or organised by royal, monastic or lay lords?
  3. Can we identify, investigate and date sites associated with the region's key extractive industries (especially iron, coal, lead and alabaster), the production and distribution of cloth and leather-work, and freshwater or marine fishing?
  4. Can we develop a typological classification of buildings associated with medieval industrial and commercial activities and can we identify sub-regional and chronological patterning?

7.7 The agrarian landscape and food-producing economy

  1. Can we shed further light upon the origins and development of the open-field system and its impact upon agricultural practices?
  2. Can we establish the character and extent of the field systems of non-champion landscapes (e.g. upland Derbyshire)?
  3. What can we deduce about changes in woodland management and animal or crop husbandry (including new crops, crop rotation, field systems, more intensive cultivation of clay soils and larger animals, particularly sheep)?
  4. What can environmental remains teach us about diet and living conditions in urban, rural and coastal communities?
  5. What may fish bones and other environmental data contribute to studies of the exploitation and distribution of freshwater and marine fish?
  6. How best may we enhance study of the origins and development of early land reclamation and drainage, particularly in Lincolnshire?

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Trent & Peak Archaeology
Site/Project Name
Lenton Priory
County/Unitary Authority
Nottingham City
SK 55151 38755
Awaiting deposition
Museum No
To be finalised
Report and Web Link
B6_Abbey Street, Lenton, Archaeological Assessment Report and Updated Project Design

Agenda Topic(s)

Research Objective(s)

How has this work addressed the Research Agenda and Strategy?

The excavation of the site at Martinmas Fair, held at Lenton Priory, provided an opportunity to explore a rare example of a trading event which was conducted on the grounds of a monastic house under the authority of a religious order. The rich assemblage of material culture recovered during excavation may help to elucidate the differences between secular and ecclesiastical trading enterprises. Furthermore, the involvement of European merchants throughout the period of use of the fair raises the possibility that analysis may shed light upon changing international economic relationships during the High Medieval period. Analysis of the spatial organisation of the market may be able to inform us of how buildings and plot demarcations were structured and how individual plots may have varied depending upon the wealth, status and geopolitical provenance of the traders.

--Paul Flintoft, 20-Nov-2017 16:45

Trent & Peak Archaeology
Site/Project Name
The Origins of Nottingham
County/Unitary Authority
Nottingham City
Museum No
NCMG 2013-3 to NCMG 2013-8
Report and Web Link

Agenda Topic(s)

Research Objective(s)

How has this work addressed the Research Agenda and Strategy?

The Origins of Nottingham project has sought to disseminate more widely the results of unpublished sites excavated between 1969-80 in Nottingham City Centre. By reviewing the excavation evidence the project has been able to shed light on activity in both the pre-conquest and post-conquest urban centre. The post-conquest evidence was as follows:

Boots Garage: Along Woolpack Lane a slight wattle and daub structure of 9th or 10th century date was recorded. This was replaced by successive timber buildings, followed by clearance in the 13th century for a malt kiln and associated cellar. These structures were overlain by buildings of the 12th or 13th centuries. Evidence of industrial activity in the period spanning the Norman Conquest was found in the form of a corn-drying kiln and smelting hearth, while later activity was indicated by a large 13th century bowl-shaped kiln/oven. These backlands appear to have been abandoned by c.1350.

Halifax Place: Following evidence of early medieval settlement and industrial activity site was reorganised around 1100, with properties along at least two frontages and intense activity until c. 1350, including 8 corn-drying kilns, pits and an oven or kiln. A third frontage was occupied by buildings in the 13th century, preceding a phase of dereliction.

Fisher Gate: In around 1000, a cobbled road was constructed joining Bellar Gate and Carter Gate. The road frontages were flanked by timber houses fronting plots containing pits, ovens and kilns. One such feature was a rock-cut, corn-drying kiln dating from c.1200 which had burnt down while in use. Clearance in c. 1300 retained the cobbled road joining Bellar Gate and Carter Gate, but the discovery of a range of new buildings suggests amalgamation into one property; these new buildings included a timber building with service wing, warehouses or workshops and a courtyard. The area was derelict from c.1350 until the 16th century.

Woolpack Lane: Records indicate a major re-cut of the pre-Conquest defensive ditch in the first half of the 10th century. The ditch was again cut in the first half of the 12th century by another substantial ditch which was interpreted as part of the medieval defences that had enclosed both the pre-Conquest and Norman boroughs.

--Tina Roushannafas, 05-Feb-2018 13:23

MOLA Northampton
Site/Project Name
Project Angel
All Saints
County/Unitary Authority
SP 75501 60264

Agenda Topic(s)

How has this work addressed the Research Agenda and Strategy?

The project is currently at Updated Project Design stage, and is a work in progress.

The site lies in the Norman "New Borough" of Northampton and was preceded by early 12th-century ironstone quarrying. By the mid 12th century a carver¬タルs workshop stood on St John¬タルs Street from which domestic and craft waste was generated and umped into the quarry fill; its timber building was refurbished once and then replaced in stone by the mid 13th century.

Malting and baking was undertaken adjacent during the late 12th and early 13th centuries; a stone building with a cobbled floor lay towards the centre of the frontage. Behind the building were four wells, a clay-lined tank for water and several ovens, including two bread ovens and three malting ovens. This activity ceased when the adjacent carver¬タルs workshop was replaced in stone and the whole frontage was cleared. Rear yard structures and ovens were demolished, wells were filled and the ground was levelled out.

Subsequently, although there was still one building standing on St John¬タルs Street, the plots adjacent became a place for dumping soil, waste and cess. What started out as abandoned ground was gradually assimilated into a single plot, perhaps for gardens adjoining the late medieval tenement.

Although this is not a pottery production site; it is the largest assemblage of medieval pottery ever recovered from Northampton. The assemblage contained a large number of imported wares, with continental imports from Germany and/or the Low Countries outnumbering those from East Anglia indicating direct continental trade with Northampton. The first definite finds of Spanish pottery were also identified and may have implications on the wealth and status of the household(s) involved. Further works have been defined by Paul Blinkhorn that will examine variations in the pottery assemblage from each of the frontage plots by period.

The well-preserved malting activity comprised a large timber-lined tank and three malting ovens, together with several wells. The nature, infrastructure and layout of the site will add to the corpus of medieval industry in Northampton. There will be comparison of the excavated structures with others in the region.

--Jim Brown, 05-Nov-2018 11:34

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  This page (revision-114) was last changed on 05-Nov-2018 11:34 by Jim Brown