In early 1996 a geophysical survey was carried out and trial trenches excavated on the site of proposed new housing at the northern edge of the village of Thurvaston. Although no features of archaeological origin were apparent from the geophysical survey, the trial trenches revealed the remains of medieval settlement, including a posthole, L-shaped gulley and a hearth. (1)
In autumn 1996, further excavation uncovered a range of features, the majority of which were medieval in date. Earlier features were of Neolithic and Iron Age date (see SMR 23910). The excavated area was thought to represent part of a medieval toft within which there had been three principal phases of medieval activity. The earliest medieval features comprised an east-west ditch of pre-13th century date. This was succeeded by a rectilinear structure on roughly the same alignment, defined by a continuous shallow gulley which was interpreted as an eaves-trench. A number of postholes lay within the area enclosed by the gulley, although no coherent structure could be deduced from them. A central hearth and associated charred plant remains suggested a domestic function for the structure, which pottery indicated dated to the late 13th to late 14th century. It was thought to represent a simple dwelling house. The absence of non-local pottery was taken to indicate that it was a structure of relatively low status. The structure was overlain by a fragmentary cobbled surface associated with late 14th to mid 15th century pottery. This may have represented reorganisation of the toft, perhaps around a cobbled crew yard. In the mid-15th century the whole site was given over to agricultural use, as evidenced by ridge and furrow which had covered the site prior to excavation. (2)
An archaeomagnetic study on the hearth indicated that the last firing took place either in the period 1100 to 1210 AD or in the period 1450 to 1530 AD. However, it was noted that the estimates were of low reliability. (3)
Unpublished document: Challis, K, Gilbert, D & Southgate, M. 1996. Archaeological Evaluation at Thurvaston, Derbyshire for Derwent Housing Association. SMR Doc. No. 229.
Article in serial: Challis, K (TPAT). 1999. 'Excavation of a medieval structure at Hemp Croft, Thurvaston, Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 119, pp 220-259.
Unpublished document: Noel, M. 1997. Archaeomagnetic Analysis of Burnt Context 0045 at Thurvaston, Derbyshire.. AM Lab Report 3/97.
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Centred SK 24247 37940 (55m by 32m)
OSLESTON AND THURVASTON, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Feb 2 2011 9:45AM
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