Case Study (Excavation): Medieval occupation in Poslingford, Suffolk

Suffolk Archaeology's excavation of a small rural site in Poslingford, Suffolk, ahead of the construction works for new houses, is a typical example of how archaeological investigation associated with modern development can be used to investigate and record the history of our local communities

The site lay within the historic medieval core of the village, within 60m of the medieval parish church. A 9th century gold ring had previously been found near to the site, indicating early activity and possible burials, but the settlement core had hitherto never seen any archaeological investigation and our knowledge of the village's origins was limited. An initial trial trench evaluation of the site identified medieval deposits and so a requirement for excavation of part of the development footprint was imposed, to 'preserve by record' the site's archaeology.

Although the excavation did not reveal any direct evidence for medieval settlement such as a house platform, a significant quantity and range of artefactual and environmental material was recovered from a small selection of pits, postholes and a ditch, which provided evidence for domestic life, agriculture and small scale industry in the village at the time around Domesday and through the 12th/13th century when the adjacent church was being built.

Once fieldwork was completed the client was able to immediately proceed with their construction works. The post-excavation assessment and analysis of the evidence from the fieldwork was subsequently included within a full archive report, and the full archive deposited with the Suffolk Historic Environment Record where it is available for public access and future research into both the medieval history of Poslingford and the wider region.