Swan Hotel
Lavenham, Suffolk

Site Code
LVM 080
OASIS Number
165553
Site Type
Desk-Based Assessment
Period
Medieval, Post Medieval,
Report Number
2013_014

Summary

Phases of evaluation and excavation fieldwork were carried out prior to the construction of a spa on land to the rear of the Swan Hotel, in Lavenham, Suffolk in the centre of Lavenham, fronting onto the high street to the west, with Lady Street to the east. Prior to the excavation a series of 19th century and modern buildings were present in the northern half of the site, which were demolished under archaeological supervision.

The archaeological remains represent activity across two terraced property plots, with the main phase of occupation appearing to date from the 13th century into the postmedieval period. The earliest medieval features were mainly 13th-14th century pits, presumably used for quarrying and refuse. These were overlaid by various backyard workshop structures that enclosed approximately ten furnaces thought to relate to the dyeing process. This phase was in turn followed by scattered post-medieval postholes and pits, suggesting a complete decline in the previous industrial activity (aligned with the economic blight that hit Lavenham after the wool trade collapsed in the region).