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Record Details

MonUID:MST6443
HER Number:05520
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible Town Ditch Remains, Sandford Street, Lichfield

Summary

Possible sections of an early defensive ditch, measuring circa 10 metres wide, which were identified during archaeological investigations on Sandford Street. This may be the remains of the town ditch, the line of which has historically been suggested to lie further to the south-west (see PRN 03610).

Grid Reference:SK 1148 0937
Map Sheet:SK10NW
Parish:Lichfield, Lichfield District
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Type(s):

Associated Finds:

  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Norman to POST MEDIEVAL - 1200 AD to 1599 AD)
  • SLAG (MEDIEVAL - 1300 AD to 1399 AD)

Associated Events:

  • EST617 - An archaeologcial evaluation of land on the northern side of Sandford Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire. (Ref: Marches Archaeology Series 083)
  • EST901 - An archaeological excavation and post excavation assessment at land to the north of Sandford Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire. (Ref: Project No. 644.01)
  • EST745 - An archaeological desk-based assessment at Sandford Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire.
  • EST744 - An archaeological evaluation of land at the junction of Sandford Street and Swan Road, Lichfield, Staffordshire. (Ref: Project No. 986)
  • EST705 - Archaeological excavations on the north side of Sandford Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire. (Ref: Project No. 644)

Protected Status:

    Full description

    Ditch: An archaeological evaluation on the northern side of Sandford Street found no 18th century material below 19th century deposits. Various early post-medieval and medieval pits and the remains of a medieval ditch which may be associated with an early phase of the town defences were recorded. <1>

    Ditch cut identified in an evaluation excavation (Trench 1) on the north side of Sandford Street in 1999, not fully excavated but found to measure at least 4m wide by 2m deep where seen. Its fills contained pottery of the 13th to 15th centuries, and was cut by various later features.
    The ditch is of uncertain function. If it is a property boundary it is larger than would be expected. Another possible interpretation, that it is part of the town defences, seems unlikely as the parish boundary follows a line further west, where the defences and gate are traditionally thought to have been. The date of digging of the ditch is unknown, but it was fully backfilled by the late medieval period. It is suggested that it may be earlier than the defences and may possibly even be an earlier defensive construction. It may be that this feature influence the unusual dog-leg in Sandford Street. (JM, 20/2/03) <2>

    A large ditch, identified as the town boundary ditch, on a north-south alignment, was excavated during an evaluation excavation and watching-brief conducted between 18-28 Sandford Street in 2000. With the area previously evaluated by Stone in 1999, the minimum width of ditch is now thought to be 10m.
    The ditch continued to silt up throughout the 14th century, culminating in the late-15th century. Some intrusive 16th century material was also recovered from the ditch, indicating a general mixing of deposits. (JM, 20/2/03) <3>

    Steep-sided cut, thought to be the continuation of the early town ditch, was identified to the south of Sandford Street during evaluation excavation in 2002 (Trench 1). It was excavated only to a depth of 1.9m. Mid-13th century pottery was recovered from the earliest fill, and 14th century pottery found in the latest. The ditch was truncated by the foundations of a stone building (PRN 50367). Slag recovered from the upper fill of the ditch was interpreted as evidence for metalworking in the area from as early as the 13th or 14th centuries. (JM, 26/03/03) <4>

    Sources and further reading

    <1>SST3492 - Evaluation Report: Richard Stone (Marches Archaeology). 1999. Land on the Northern Side of Sandford Street, Lichfield: Report on an Evaluation Excavation.
    <2>SST3492 - Evaluation Report: Richard Stone (Marches Archaeology). 1999. Land on the Northern Side of Sandford Street, Lichfield: Report on an Evaluation Excavation. Page 5 (Trench 1) and Page 7.
    <3>SST3661 - Excavation Report: K. Nichol & S. Ratkai (Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit). 2002. Archaeological Excavations on the North Side of Sandford Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire 2000. Pages 5 and 8.
    <4>SST3701 - Evaluation Report: Eleanor Ramsey (Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit). 2002. Junction of Sandford Street and Swan Road, Lichfield, Staffordshire: An Archaeological Evaluation 2002. Page 3 (Trench 1).
    <5>SST3702 - Desk Based Assessment Report: CPM. 1999. Sandford Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire. An Archaeological Assessment.

    Related records

    02351Part of: Lichfield Town / Borough (Monument)
    03610Part of: Lichfield Town Defences (Monument)
    50367Part of: Site of Buildings, Sandford Street, Lichfield (Monument)

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