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Name:Newham's Pit ditched enclosure, Spital Corner, Staxton
NY SMR Number:MNY8268
Type of record:Monument
Last edited:Feb 12 2020 1:01PM
Grid Reference:TA 024 793
Parish:Willerby [3151]; Ryedale

Monument Type(s):

Associated Finds

Other References/Statuses

Full description

Double ditched enclosure containing at least three hut stances. Finds show considerable Roman influence and suggest a military rather than domestic occupation. The ditch debris suggest two main periods of occupation in AD 80 to 90 and AD 100 to 120.

The ditched enclosure is formed by a V-sectioned ditch which encircled the entire site. Brewster, the excavator, postulated and entrance in the south-southeast corner in alignment with the excavated entrance of the inner enclosure. The excavated area proved to be clear of all Roman structures and little occupational debris was found.

The ditch was cut through sandy loam into the glacial melt water sands. Some parts of excavated, though only two areas down to subsoil, and other portions were plotted along the centre line as the quarry pit advanced. In destroyed or no-exposed areas the line was further postulated. Debris found in the ditch implies that the western and eastern flanks of the ditch at least were filled in soon after being dug. The earliest occupation layer finds would suggest a Flavian date. This corresponded to the earliest occupation layers of the inner ditch and hut two. A sterile layer separated the Flavian and Trajanic levels. This led Brewster to suggest that the site had been occupied in two different periods probably AD 80 to 90 and AD 100 to 120.

A sterile layer overlying the 2nd century deposits marked the end of Roman occupation although a 4th century Marne bowl and 5th century wrist clasps above this indicate subsequent activity. Substantial Anglian deposits higher still suggest re-occupation during the 6th century. These were surmounted by a shallow Medieval layer.

In contrast to the outer enclosure this inner area showed that it had been densely occupied. As with the outer ditch two periods of occupation were visible namely AD 80 to 90 and AD 100 to 120. A slightly staggered entrance in the southwest comer of the southern curving line was found.

For the inner ditch, with the exception of the southern curving section the sides were remarkably straight as compared to the outer ditch. The lack of occupation debris in this ditch would suggest intentional infilling material which was very uniform. It is possibly that the inner enclosure was the first period of Roman occupation and the outer enclosure and an expanded period one. Excavated by: TCM Brewster (1947) to (1948). (1 - 4)

Site listed in a desk based assessment in advance of nearby development. (5)

<AP1> Meridian Airmaps Ltd, 13/07/72, Aerial Photograph (Aerial Photograph). SNY4379.

<1> Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 1957, EXCAVATIONS AT NEWHAM'S PIT STAXTON 1947-48 (Article). SNY1333.

<2> 1947, SCARBOROUGH EVENING NEWS (Serial). SNY1974.


<4> Ordnance Survey, Various, Ordnance Survey Record Card, TA07NW037 (Card Index). SNY1.

<5> On Site Archaeology, 1998, Land South of A64, Spital Corner, Staxton. Proposed Motel Development: An Archaeological Desktop Study, Sites 2.1 and 2.2 (Report). SNY19126.

Sources and further reading

<1>SNY1333 - Article: Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. 1957. EXCAVATIONS AT NEWHAM'S PIT STAXTON 1947-48. Brewster, T C M.
<AP1>SNY4379 - Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Ltd. 13/07/72. Aerial Photograph.
<2>SNY1974 - Serial: 1947. SCARBOROUGH EVENING NEWS.
<3>SNY1332 - Monograph: 1952. TWO MEDIEVAL HABITATION SITES IN THE VALE OF PICKERING. Brewster, T C M. Photocopy. P8 FIG.VI.
<4>SNY1 - Card Index: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Record Card. Various authors. TA07NW037.
<5>SNY19126 - Report: On Site Archaeology. 1998. Land South of A64, Spital Corner, Staxton. Proposed Motel Development: An Archaeological Desktop Study. Ferguson, C-M & Hopkinson, G. Date. 1998. Sites 2.1 and 2.2.

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