Archaelogy

Thorney is a place which we believe will offer
a lot of interest to archaeologists.
The Thorney Heritage Museum is pleased
to be involved with important projects.

2006 - Pottery

Nine test pits were dug by HEFA in Thorney in 2006. Test pits THO/06/7, 06/8 and 06/9, sited in the east of the present village at c. 3.4m OD, were all devoid of any pre-modern finds. Although excavation was only able to proceed to a depth of 20cm in THO/06/7 as the water table was reached at this point, this in itself suggested the likely reason for the rejection of this low-lying part of the present village for occupation in the Anglo-Saxon and medieval period. However, in THO/06/8 a layer of charcoal within the clay subsoil was noted c. 60cm below the surface, which was tentatively interpreted as of possible prehistoric origin. Further west, around the church, test pits THO/06/2, 06/3 and 06/4 all produced small quantities of pottery dating to 1200-1400 AD, with 06/4 producing the only evidence for pre-Conquest activity in the form of a single sherd of Stamford ware. All six test pits in the western part of the village (nearer the abbey church) showed a marked rise in activity, as represented by the quantity of pottery sherds, in the immediate post-Dissolution period: this was particularly marked in the westernmost two pits (THO/06/1 and 06/2).


Reference:
https://www.access.arch.cam.ac.uk/reports/cambridgeshire/thorney/2006

 

2007 - Abbey Fields Thorney - Trench Evaluation and Community Archaeology Project 

Ten trenches were excavated as part of a public-community archaeological project. A possible Bronze Age ditch, medieval and post-medieval field ditches, ridge and furrow, a raised platform and a large, open drainage feature were recorded. Deep, stratified medieval archaeology including a stone-footed aisled building thought to be part of one of the Abbey's brewhouses were also noted.

Reference:
https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/library/browse/issue.xhtml?recordId=1144165

 

2007 - Pottery Report

13 test pits were dug by HEFA in Thorney in 2007, complementing the nine excavated in 2006 and bringing the total to 22. The lower-lying eastern part of the present village was avoided as 2006 test pits showed that this area was probably not occupied in the pre-modern period. As in 2006, none of the 2007 test pits produced any material of Roman date, with the earliest recovered ceramics dating to the late Anglo-Saxon period (850-1100AD). Three test pits (THO/06/4; THO/07/7 and THO/07/11) have now produced material of this date. Although none have yielded more than one late Anglo-Saxon sherd, it is notable that these three test pits are all located in the same area, near the abbey church and south-east of the present road crossing. Although inferences based on three sherds must inevitably be regarded as tentative, is may be that late Saxon settlement at Thorney was present in this area, barely extending beyond the abbey precinct. Several test pits around the present road crossing produced pottery of 11th-14th century date, but only in very small quantities which would normally be interpreted as more likely to indicate moderately non-intensive activity such as cultivation or horticulture. Almost all of the ten pits around the present cross-roads produced 2-4 sherds of pottery dating to c. 1400-1540. This has been interpreted as indicating an increase in activity compared to the pre-Black Death period, but not to any very high level of intensity. Such an increase is, however, very apparent in the post-Dissolution period, with most of the test pits producing large quantities of a range of wares dating to 1150-1700.

Reference:
https://www.access.arch.cam.ac.uk/reports/cambridgeshire/thorney/2007

2007 - Wryde Croft Wind Farm Thorney Peterborough- Desk-Based Assessment

The archaeological desk-based assessment indicates an area rich in Romano-British settlement, farmsteads and field systems. Aerial photographic and Historic Environment Record evidence has been used to model the potential extent and complexity of the archaeology. The evidence suggests that wherever the turbines are located in the subject area there is the potential to impact on archaeological deposits. Aerial photographic interpretation suggests that there may be scope for a mitigation strategy allowing for the avoidance of particularly complex areas of archaeology, however this technique only shows part of the picture. Other archaeology such as pits, post-holes and gullies representing buildings are likely to be invisible at this scale and with these methods. It is clear that the archaeological model needs to be further refined to aid in the siting of turbines. In the first instance a geophysical survey and evaluation of areas proposed for disturbance would enhance existing understanding of the archaeological resource

Reference:
<<FIND WEB LINK>>

2010 - Pottery Report

Eleven test pits were dug by HEFA in Thorney in 2010, adding to the twenty-two excavated up to 2008 and bringing the total to thirty-three. As well as filling in gaps in previous coverage, four new sites were excavated for the first time, each with two test pits, at Abbey House (immediately west of the abbey church); Park House (300m east of the abbey church); Thorneycroft House (just beyond the southern margin of the present village) and at Toneham House (c. 1.5km south of the village of Thorney).
As in previous years, no material predating the late Anglo-Saxon period was found from any of the excavated test pits. Test pit THO/10/11 in the area between Church Street and Whittlesey Road produced a single sherd of Stamford Ware, and although this was small (2g) it is notable that all the test pits excavated in this area have produced last Anglo-Saxon pottery, supporting the inference that this was the site of a settlement associated with Thorney Abbey, probably a small extra-mural village, possibly planned, outside the abbey precinct but near its gate. Both pits dug in the garden of Abbey House produced late Anglo-Saxon pottery, suggesting that activity at this date extended west of the present north-south road past the church. It is unclear whether this area lay within the Anglo-Saxon abbey precinct or beyond it. Test pit THO/10/6 in the garden around Abbey House also produced a small sherd of Stamford Ware, from an area which almost certainly did lie within the abbey precinct (this find adds a small amount of weight to that suggestion).
The two pits at Thorneycroft between them produced only a single small sherd of high medieval pottery, suggesting that this area may have been arable fields rather than settlement at this date. The pits at Toneham together produced seven sherds of pottery dating to 1150-1400 (Lyveden/Stanion 'A' Ware and Bourne 'A' Ware), suggesting that activity in this area intensified in this period, most likely in the thirteenth century. It is plausible to suggest that this activity did represent settlement: although the volume of pottery is a little low to be entirely confident in this interpretation, digging in very dry conditions meant that nether pit reached natural, therefore the seven sherds may not represent the totality of material from these pits which might have been recovered had they gone deeper. Pit THO/10/1, in particular, produced five sherds from the lowest excavated levels with no evidence of recent disturbance. As in earlier years, nearly all excavated sites, including all the new sites, produced later medieval (post-fourteenth century) pottery in significant volumes, most yielding more material of this date that of high medieval date, supporting the inference made previously that Thorney was thriving in the later medieval period. This growth appears to have continued at all the excavated sites in the post-medieval, post-Dissolution period.



Reference:
https://www.access.arch.cam.ac.uk/reports/cambridgeshire/thorney/2010

 

2018 - Test Pit Excavations in Thorney 2006, 2007 and 2010

Eleven test pits were dug by HEFA in Thorney in 2010, adding to the twenty-two excavated up to 2008 and bringing the total to thirty-three. As well as filling in gaps in previous coverage, four new sites were excavated for the first time, each with two test pits, at Abbey House (immediately west of the abbey church); Park House (300m east of the abbey church); Thorneycroft House (just beyond the southern margin of the present village) and at Toneham House (c. 1.5km south of the village of Thorney).
As in previous years, no material predating the late Anglo-Saxon period was found from any of the excavated test pits. Test pit THO/10/11 in the area between Church Street and Whittlesey Road produced a single sherd of Stamford Ware, and although this was small (2g) it is notable that all the test pits excavated in this area have produced last Anglo-Saxon pottery, supporting the inference that this was the site of a settlement associated with Thorney Abbey, probably a small extra-mural village, possibly planned, outside the abbey precinct but near its gate. Both pits dug in the garden of Abbey House produced late Anglo-Saxon pottery, suggesting that activity at this date extended west of the present north-south road past the church. It is unclear whether this area lay within the Anglo-Saxon abbey precinct or beyond it. Test pit THO/10/6 in the garden around Abbey House also produced a small sherd of Stamford Ware, from an area which almost certainly did lie within the abbey precinct (this find adds a small amount of weight to that suggestion).
The two pits at Thorneycroft between them produced only a single small sherd of high medieval pottery, suggesting that this area may have been arable fields rather than settlement at this date. The pits at Toneham together produced seven sherds of pottery dating to 1150-1400 (Lyveden/Stanion 'A' Ware and Bourne 'A' Ware), suggesting that activity in this area intensified in this period, most likely in the thirteenth century. It is plausible to suggest that this activity did represent settlement: although the volume of pottery is a little low to be entirely confident in this interpretation, digging in very dry conditions meant that nether pit reached natural, therefore the seven sherds may not represent the totality of material from these pits which might have been recovered had they gone deeper. Pit THO/10/1, in particular, produced five sherds from the lowest excavated levels with no evidence of recent disturbance. As in earlier years, nearly all excavated sites, including all the new sites, produced later medieval (post-fourteenth century) pottery in significant volumes, most yielding more material of this date that of high medieval date, supporting the inference made previously that Thorney was thriving in the later medieval period. This growth appears to have continued at all the excavated sites in the post-medieval, post-Dissolution period.



Reference:
https://www.access.arch.cam.ac.uk/reports/cambridgeshire/thorney/2010