The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians. (Andrew Clarke and GH) These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Roman Finds at Rodbridge, near Long Melford. in 1951

(from the  proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Volume XXVI, part 1 1952)
Following notice that animal bones had been found in a West Suffolk County Council disused gravel pit at Rodbridge, near Long Melford (Nat. Grid. 00/856435), Miss E. M. Backhouse, of Sudbury, in August 1951 recovered from the same spot shards of Roman pottery.

On 29 September a member of this Society, who is interested in field work, undertook a planned investigation and unearthed, between that date and 21 October, the following items:—a Roman bronze ligula or spatula, about four inches long; a steelyard hook; a nail; two shards of Samian ware; approx. 50 shards of Castor ware; approx. 700 shards, some decorated but the majority small and broken, of Roman grey ware, including rims and bases; approx. 25 shards of Anglo-Saxon coarse ware; samples of charcoal and discoloured flints.

The gravel pits at Rodbridge (there are others on the right-hand side of the Borley road) supplied material for Acton Aerodrome, near Sudbury, in World War II. As far as can be ascertained, nothing of archaeological interest was ever reported, yet evidence of what are believed to be hut floors or refuse pits must have
been noticed when the deep incisions were made in the ground. The site of the pit was originally arable land; the river Stour flows about 200 yards from the spot. The finds are at present in
my possession.

G. R. Elliott.

Since this note was written, the gravel pit has been bulldozed by the West Suffolk County Council, but it is hoped that an arrangement will be made whereby any future excavations here will be carried out under the auspices of the Institute, subject to the agreement of the tenant and to certain conditions regarding the
ownership and disposal of any finds. This is, of course, assuming that the bull-dozer has not done irreparable damage to the site.

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