Welcome to the Risborough Area Portal

  Helping you find all you need to shop, live, work and play.

2013 dig at St Dunstan’s

SONY DSC

Jill and the Risborough Countryside Group team on the first day

 

SONY DSC

Dr. Jill Eyers

 

SONY DSC

Richard – the site manager

 

SONY DSC

Examining a find

 

SONY DSC

Chris Kingham doing his meerkat impression

 

SONY DSC

Roman hypocaust tiles forming part of the fabric of St Dunstan’s

 

SONY DSC

Scene at the end of the dig

 

SONY DSC

Paul Green from the Risborough Countryside Group seen here pointing

 

SONY DSC

The team in action

 

SONY DSC

Jill checking finds

 

SONY DSC

In the churchyard

 

SONY DSC

Initial site clearance by Andi Clough

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

In June and July 2013, Chiltern Archaeology carried out an area excavation of the site destined for the extension to the graveyard at St Dunstan’s Church, Monks Risborough. The area was c. 2,400 m2. A large quantity of unstratified finds was encountered in the cleaning layer. These ranged from stone tools to a variety of post-Medieval items, with large quantities of Roman and early Medieval artefacts (notably CBM and pottery) in the assemblage. The large quantity of unstratified finds was due to a vast number of intercutting features. These features included 43 pits, 18 ditches and gullies, 19 postholes and 11 layers. In all 286 contexts were recorded. Features provided phase dates of Iron Age, Iron Age to early Romano-British, Roman 3rd to 4th century; Saxon 5th to 9th century and various features of Medieval date particularly the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. The indication is that the land formed part of an open disposal area close to habitation throughout this period. The sparse finds representative of later than the 14th century probably reflects the change in the use of the area to farmland (for grazing) and the cessation of pit digging and rubbish disposal as a result. This coincides with the final phases of church building in the 14th century. The church has always been reportedly dated to the 14th C. However, this project takes back the age for the early phase of church building considerably, which is now known more precisely (from building stone within dated contexts).The first phase of building for the church was in the mid- to late-11th century. It is therefore suggested that parts of St Dunstan’s church are Norman, with further building in the early 14th and then 15th century. There may well have been an earlier Saxon church on the site, given the ownership of the land by the Canterbury Monks from the 8th or 9th century. The monks actively managed the area up to the 14th century, and indeed retained the land until their dissolution in 1539.

The Big Dig

Jill has produced this book of the dig