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Name:Barditch and Bargate, Boston
HER Number:12644
Type of record:Monument

Summary

Barditch and Bargate, Boston.

Grid Reference:TF 328 442
Map Sheet:TF34SW
Parish:BOSTON, BOSTON, LINCOLNSHIRE

Full description

The town of Boston began as the port of St Botolph shortly after the conquest. In 1203 the citizens were granted a charter by King John. At some uncertain period the town on the east bank of the Witham was ditched and walled, and in 1285 the walls were repaired. There is mention of Wormgate, Bargate and St John's Gate, St John's Bridge, mentioned in 1567 when it was ordered that a gate should be placed there, was at the south end of the ditch where it meets the river. In 1643 the town was besieged and taken by the Parliamentarians. Excavations by M. Barley in the grounds of Fydell House at TF 3285 4387, on the inner lip of the ditch, revealed a brick wall, going down to brick and stone foundations, 6ft thick, on a timber platform. On pottery evidence the wall appears to be early 14th century. The Barditch had been piped in a brick conduit about 1725, and 'no clear indications were found of the medieval ditch which probably lay further east' (This appears to be a somewhat ambiguous reference to the line of the ditch before it was piped or to its outer lip). Further excavations at Fydell House by P. Mayes and also east of the Odeon Cinema, yielded a large range of pottery from the 11th century onwards. In all the cuttings the wall and ditch were found on the expected line. There was no proof that the wall was ever defensive (See map diagram for walls and town components in parish file). There are no surface indications of the town wall or gates. The conduited ditch is now subterranean apart from a concrete emergence spout at TF 32947 43561 and a concrete outlet at TF 32463 44417. The excavations, now filled, are visible at TF 32946 43844 and TF 32956 43807. {1}{2}{3}{4}{5}{6}

Further work and observation during removal of brickwork for new drain under the ring road in July 1976, revealed massive ashlar lining of the sides partly supported on piles. Large quantities of medieval and post medieval pottery was found, including Saintonge polychrome. Leather dagger-sheaths and a number of shoes were also recovered. {7}{8}{9}

During a watching brief at 3 New Street (TF 3280 4427) a substantial stone wall was observed, on a north-west to south-east orientation on the line of the 12th century Barditch town defence. In places the wall survived to a depth of 3m and was traced for 4m, and its width was greater than 70cm. It was initially speculated that this wall was part of the town wall, but a later interpretation is that the wall was part of a high status building, which may have been monastic. A small number of pottery sherds dating from the mid 12th century to the early 13th century were found in the base of the contractors trench. {10}{11}

During a watching brief at Sibsey Lane (TF 32908 44025), a section of the Barditch was encountered. Few finds were recovered from the ditch fill deposits although a few sherds of medieval pottery were found. These suggest that the ditch ceased to be cleaned out at some point in the late 14th to 15th century. Some deliberate backfilling happened following this, including dumping of agricultural, domestic and small-scale industrial waste. {12}{13}

During a watching brief undertaken by Archaeological Project Services between August and October 2004 in South End, Skirbeck Road, Boston at TF3305 4363 the 10th to 12th century cut of the Barditch was revealed during excavation of the drainage run. 10th to 12th century pottery was also found in the cut. {14}{15}


<1> Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Card Index, TF 34 SW: 4 (Index). SLI2344.

<2> THOMPSON, A.H., 1932, ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, vol.89, p.368, plan (Article in Serial). SLI331.

<3> 1958, MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY, vol.2, p.200 (Article in Serial). SLI515.

<4> 1961, MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY, vol.5, p.323 (Article in Serial). SLI517.

<5> Pishey Thompson, 1856, The Histories and Antiquities of Boston, p.241 (Bibliographic Reference). SLI1071.

<6> OS, 1889, OS 1:500 SERIES, (109:9:19) (Map). SLI3562.

<7> Lincolnshire County Council, Sites and Monuments Record Card Index, TF 34 SW: AA (Index). SLI2881.

<8> A.J. White (ed.), 1977, 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1976' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, vol.12, pp.72-3 (Article in Serial). SLI758.

<9> A.J. White and M.C. Solly (eds.), 1983, 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1982' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, vol.18, pp.108-10 (Article in Serial). SLI756.

<10> Pre-Construct Archaeology, 1995, Archaeological Watching Brief and Survey Report: 3 New Street, Boston, BNS94 (Report). SLI5086.

<11> Pre-Construct Archaeology, 1995, Archaeological Watching Brief and Survey: 3 New Street, Boston, LCNCC:108.94 (Archive). SLI1440.

<12> Lindsey Archaeological Services, 2007, Sibsey Lane, Boston: Archaeological Evaluation, BSLP 07 (Report). SLI11463.

<13> Lindsey Archaeological Services, 2007, Sibsey Lane, Boston: Archaeological Evaluation, LCNCC 2007.60 (Archive). SLI11464.

<14> Archaeological Project Services, 2005, Archaeological excavation and watching brief on land at South End, Boston, SEB02 (Report). SLI13016.

<15> 2005, Archaeological excavation and watching brief on land at South End, Boston, LCNCC: 2002.132 (Archive). SLI13017.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • SHEATH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SHERD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events

  • Former Lord Nelson Inn, Main Street, Fulstow
  • Archaeological watching brief on land at South End, Boston
  • Watching brief at 3 New Street, Boston
  • Archaeological evaluation at Sibsey Lane, Boston

Protected Status

  • Conservation Area

Sources and further reading

<1>Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Card Index. TF 34 SW: 4.
<2>Article in Serial: THOMPSON, A.H.. 1932. ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL. vol.89, p.368, plan.
<3>Article in Serial: 1958. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY. vol.2, p.200.
<4>Article in Serial: 1961. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY. vol.5, p.323.
<5>Bibliographic Reference: Pishey Thompson. 1856. The Histories and Antiquities of Boston. p.241.
<6>Map: OS. 1889. OS 1:500 SERIES. (109:9:19).
<7>Index: Lincolnshire County Council. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TF 34 SW: AA.
<8>Article in Serial: A.J. White (ed.). 1977. 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1976' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.12, pp.72-3.
<9>Article in Serial: A.J. White and M.C. Solly (eds.). 1983. 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1982' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.18, pp.108-10.
<10>Report: Pre-Construct Archaeology. 1995. Archaeological Watching Brief and Survey Report: 3 New Street, Boston. BNS94.
<11>Archive: Pre-Construct Archaeology. 1995. Archaeological Watching Brief and Survey: 3 New Street, Boston. LCNCC:108.94.
<12>Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 2007. Sibsey Lane, Boston: Archaeological Evaluation. BSLP 07.
<13>Archive: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 2007. Sibsey Lane, Boston: Archaeological Evaluation. LCNCC 2007.60.
<14>Report: Archaeological Project Services. 2005. Archaeological excavation and watching brief on land at South End, Boston. SEB02.
<15>Archive: 2005. Archaeological excavation and watching brief on land at South End, Boston. LCNCC: 2002.132.

Related records

14522Parent of: Brick culvert of the Barditch, Boston (Monument)
12645Related to: Post-Medieval Remains, Barditch and Bargate, Boston (Monument)