TASIS England, Thorpe

Two phase evaluation by T Munnery of SCAU, prior to the construction of a new building at the Upper School and extension to the existing Coach House. A single pit of probable 13th century date was discovered at the Coach House site. Two late medieval or early post-medieval pits were revealed at the Upper School site, with indications of earlier activity in the immediate vicinity being noted within the finds assemblage. The Coach House development was calculated not to damage archaeological horizons, so no further work was recommended. However, this was not the case at the Upper School, where the evaluation was followed by the excavation of a larger area, also by T Munnery of SCAU. A series of intercutting pits, wells, waterholes and boundary ditches was revealed, indicating broadly continuous domestic occupation on the site from the late Saxon period. A portion of the medieval road – the King’s Highway – was also uncovered, a discovery of some significance as the position of this feature was previously known only from cartographic sources. Subsequent phases of evaluation, again by T Munnery of SCAU, were undertaken elsewhere on the site. Prior to the construction of a business centre and science block, a small number of features of a probable medieval date were revealed at both locations. Prior to the redevelopment of the Vicarage Mews site, a ditch and pit of probable 13th–15th century date were revealed, together with two further pits of likely post-medieval date. Some residual prehistoric and Roman material was also recovered. A subsequent watching brief by P Jones of SCAU, conducted during the excavation of foundation trenches, revealed further features including a possible Mesolithic or Neolithic pit, a series of medieval pits, further evidence of the ditch revealed during the evaluation, and a number of post-medieval features. A watching brief by S Hind of SCAU during the excavations for a ground source heat pump recorded evidence for 19th–20th century activity, but nothing of any greater archaeological significance.