Medieval remains found at a Suffolk school

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A school site in an 11th century road system in Suffolk has been excavated for medieval remains ahead of the creation of a new classroom and kitchen. The first cooking there, though, might actually have happened during the 14th century, according to the most unusual of the discoveries made during the dig: a small flint and mortar building which is thought to have been a kitchen or cold store.

Medieval remains found at a Suffolk school
The remains of a small 14th/15th century building (4.2m long x 3.4m wide), thought to possibly be a kitchen or cold store,
built from flint and mortar [Credit: © Suffolk Archaeology]

Any fires during cooking wouldn’t have affected the main house, with the kitchen building set some distance from the street frontage and houses. Above ground, it would have been constructed of timber with a tiled floor and roof.

Medieval remains found at a Suffolk school
Fragments of medieval jugs from Hedingham in Essex, including a rim of a stamped strip jug. One is decorated in a combed 
or reeded style, whilst the others have applied roundels. 13th to early 14th century [Credit: © Suffolk Archaeology]
Medieval remains found at a Suffolk school
This is a complete cast boy bishop token, dating to between 1470 and 1539. The obverse shows a Bishop’s mitre with the 
inscription SA[NC]T[US NIC]HOLAVS.O. The reverse shows a long cross with three pellets in each quarter and the 
inscription AVE/REX/GEN/TIS [Credit: © Suffolk Archaeology]
Medieval remains found at a Suffolk school
The sandy greyware this storage vessel is made from was probably local to Suffolk. Superficially it resembles Late Saxon 
Thetford-type ware, but it is later, belonging to the medieval period, and has strengthening applied strips, an impressed 
decoration and slight lid-seating [Credit: © Suffolk Archaeology]

Bury St Edmunds’s Abbot set up the roads at the core of the old town, where a large medieval market thrived. Pilgrims to the abbey made the area an important and wealthy regional centre.

Medieval remains found at a Suffolk school
Five fragments of late medieval bone button or bead making waste. The discs were drilled from both sides as the central 
ridge is visible inside in each hole [Credit: © Suffolk Archaeology]
Medieval remains found at a Suffolk school
Some of the many fragments of 13th-15th century roof peg tile and glazed floor tile 
[Credit: © Suffolk Archaeology]
Medieval remains found at a Suffolk school
A series of twisted figure of eight wire links make up this copper alloy chain. One terminal ends in a simple hook, whereby 
the link has been left open rather than closed. It may be the chain for a chatelaine, dating from the 15th or 16th century 
[Credit: © Suffolk Archaeology]

Elsewhere, archaeologists found a series of pits for quarry chalk, made between the 12th and 14th centuries in attempts to extract lime from the chalk for mortar. Domestic rubbish was backfilled in the pits, where large numbers of pig, sheep, goat, cattle and fish bones were discovered alongside oyster and mussel shells – pointing to the diet of the population.

Visit Suffolk Archaeology for more.

Source: Culture24 [May 13, 2016]

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