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Area of Middle and Late Saxon town between Upper Brook Street and Upper Orwell Street

A Scheduled Monument in Alexandra, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.0564 / 52°3'22"N

Longitude: 1.1581 / 1°9'29"E

OS Eastings: 616607.248639

OS Northings: 244484.382979

OS Grid: TM166444

Mapcode National: GBR TMW.5KS

Mapcode Global: VHLBT.1K2Y

Entry Name: Area of Middle and Late Saxon town between Upper Brook Street and Upper Orwell Street

Scheduled Date: 24 April 1978

Last Amended: 24 May 2016

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005983

English Heritage Legacy ID: SF 185

County: Suffolk

Electoral Ward/Division: Alexandra

Built-Up Area: Ipswich

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Ipswich St Mary-le-Tower

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The scheduled area lies to the west and south of the known production site of the Ipswich pottery industry (AD C7-C9), of which it is likely to have formed a part.

Source: Historic England


The scheduled area is divided towards the centre by Cox Lane (running from south to north), one of the oldest streets in Ipswich, and is immediately to the south, south-west and west of the area where excavation has demonstrated the presence of pottery kilns and other features associated with the industrial scale production of Ipswich and Thetford wares. Kilns and pits containing pottery waste found close to the north boundary of the scheduled area suggests that these, and other features and structures associated with the industry, are likely to be present within the scheduled area. The section of the scheduling that extends northwards is immediately to the west of kiln sites excavated between 1928 and 1961, and is likely to lie within the main area of production. Test pits, bore holes and auguring within the scheduled area demonstrates a depth of overburden in places of about 1.7m and more, suggesting a build-up of archaeological deposits across the site, cut through in places by later cellars. A test pit dug to the east of the north end of the Tacket Street entrance produced pottery dating from the Middle Saxon period to the C17th-C18th: while some of the 13 earlier pits found in the excavation to the north of Tacket Street may contain waste from the industry.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: the scheduling includes the area currently (2016) in use as a car park, extending from the east boundaries of the properties that face onto Upper Brook Street to the west boundaries of those that line the west side of Upper Orwell Street. The south end of the west boundary is formed by the east side of the car park access road, and also excludes the electricity sub-station. The south boundary of the scheduled area follows the north side of Tacket Street, cutting around the rectangle of the excavated area to return to the street front, before turning north again to follow the boundary with Christ Church and the church hall, crossing Cox Lane to follow the boundary with St Pancras Church. To the east the line of the scheduling follows the property boundaries of Upper Orwell Street, turning east and then north at Upper Orwell Street to follow the north side of Upper Barclay Street. To the west of Cox Lane it turns north and then west to follow the boundaries of the properties to the south of Carr Street. Almost the whole of this area is in use as a car park.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The area of Middle and Late Saxon town between Upper Brook Street and Upper Orwell Street is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Period: based on the evidence of sites excavated within the Anglo-Saxon and medieval town, and on finds from within the site, the scheduled area is likely to contain evidence of occupation and use from the Anglo-Saxon period into the C19;

* Rarity: such continuity of occupation on urban sites, and the good survival of evidence of Anglo-Saxon occupation, in a relatively undisturbed state, is rare;

* Documentation: the significance of surviving archaeological remains is enhanced by the records of finds and previous investigation in the immediate vicinity of this site, by the excavation archive of sites excavated within and outside the medieval town walls, and by contemporary and later historical records;

* Group value: the site has group value with excavated sites in Ipswich which have produced evidence of domestic occupation, as well as small scale and more extensive industrial use;

* Survival / Condition: the evidence of previously excavated sites in the town suggests that, despite later occupation, archaeological remains will survive in good condition;

* Fragility / Vulnerability: the buried archaeological deposits of the site are vulnerable to damage and disturbance by modern development;

* Diversity: excavation in advance of development elsewhere in Ipswich has demonstrated the survival of a diversity of features from the Anglo-Saxon periods to the C19 and beyond, demonstrating a range of uses from the domestic to the industrial;

* Potential: excavated sites within the town demonstrate that there will be archaeological deposits representing several phases of occupation. Its proximity to the site of pottery and other craft workshops, indicates potential to add significantly to our understanding of the settlement and the economy of the Anglo-Saxon and medieval town, as well as urbanisation and international trade in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Blinkhorn, Paul, The Ipswich Ware project: ceramics, trade and society in Middle Saxon England, (2012)
Hodges, R, Hobley, B, The Rebirth of Towns in the West, (1988)
Wade, K, '.' in Gardiner,, The Urbanization of East Anglia – the Ipswich perspective,, Flatlands and Wetlands: Current Themes in East Anglian Archaeology. East Anglian Archaeology (EAA) 50, (1993), 144-151
Scull, C, 'The Buttermarket Cemetery and the origins of Ipswich in the 7th Century AD,' in Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology , , Vol. 43, (2013), 43-51
West, S, 'Excavations at Cox lane (1958) and at the town defences Shire Hall Yard, Ipswich (1959).' in Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute for Archaeology, , Vol. 24, (1963), 233-278
Smedley, N, Owles, E J, 'Some Suffolk Kilns: IV: Saxon kilns in Cox Lane, Ipswich, 1961' in . Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute for Archaeology, , Vol. 24, (1963), 304-327
Excavation Archive, Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service 2015, accessed 18th Nov 2015 from
Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service Hisoric Environment Record

Source: Historic England

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