Norwell Overhall dig


We have now completed our dig in the front and rear gardens of 9A Church Street formerly known to many Southwell residents as the old Nat West bank. The building was once part of the oldest prebendial house in Southwell, known as Norwell Overhall; parts of it date back to the 14th C but most of it was redeveloped in the late 18th. New owners are converting the property into their home and are very keen to know more about the history of the place.

Resisitivity surveys showed some likely structures or surfaces in both the front and rear gardens. As the site sits in the heart of medieval Southwell, and close to known Roman sites, it was deemed worthy of further exploration. A 3 x 2 metre trench was dug in each garden. The features turned out to be modern brick rubble laid as surfaces on top of what must have been the older garden. Some small fragments of medieval pottery were recovered, but most of it is late 18th to 19th C. A large quantity of animal bones were also found in each trench. The most spectacular find was an almost intact clay pipe bowl that can be dated to between 1630 -1670 and could well have been in use during the civil war. There is possible evidence of clay extraction in the rear garden. Here are some photographs from the dig.

mid 17th Century clay pipe bowl and stems
the final day of trench one in the front garden

getting down to the clay layer in the rear garden

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s