A team of archaeologists from the University of Nottingham have discovered the remains of an Anglo-Saxon defensive enclosure in the Nottinghamshire town of Southwell. For the first time they believe they have the evidence which links the well recorded Roman settlement at Southwell to the later Medieval Minster site.
This summer the small army of academics and students got permission to dig for Romans at the bottom of people’s gardens. The two week dig also involved a detailed archaeological building survey of the country’s most complete workhouse. Built in 1824 and now owned by the National Trust the Southwell Workhouse was the prototype for all future Union workhouses and it is the most complete one of the system to survive.
Dr Naomi Sykes, a lecturer in Zooarchaeology, who led the two week dig said: “We excavated all manner of finds from this ditch, including modern day pottery. In the same area we found bits of roman motaria — ancient roman pottery kitchen vessels. But further down in the earlier deposits we discovered fragments of medieval pottery. This exciting find ties the Roman site to the later Medieval Minster site and suggests that there was settlement activity and buildings around that period.”
Dr Chris King, a lecturer in archaeology, said: “We’ve only had a short time to dig and it has left us with many more questions that need answering. The people of Southwell have laid their gardens open for students to come and dig large holes in them but they are very excited about our discoveries and we are already making plans to return next summer to continue the work we began in June.”
Source: University of Nottingham