The Museum Field Archaeological Unit
The Museum will continue to collect both actively and passively a comprehensive range of archaeological artefacts. The active collecting will be by fieldwork and excavation carried out by the Museum Field Archaeology Unit following good accepted archaeological practice. The Museum Field Archaeology Unit will continue to undertake fieldwork and small scale excavation where it will add to its knowledge of the origins, medieval structure and post medieval development of Halesworth.
At present the archaeological collection covers:
(a) The Prehistoric Period (700,000BP-43AD) The artefacts consist of flint assemblages and ceramic sherds from the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age; collected from Halesworth, Chediston, Walpole and Cookley.
(b) Roman to Medieval Period (43AD-1600AD). The Museum has artefacts and ceramic sherds from the Roman, Middle Saxon, Saxo-Norman and Medieval periods; most are from Chediston (Roman) and Halesworth. The artefacts include items from a number of domestic and workshop based industrial sites in Halesworth (lead work, pin-making, pottery making, brewing etc.) while the sherds illustrate the many different types of local, regional, and European pottery in use in the town between 720AD and 1600AD.
(c) Post Medieval (1600AD-1900AD) The Museum has a collection of ceramic sherds and clay pipe bowls. The sherds illustrate the many different types of earthenware, stoneware and porcelain domestic utensils in use in the town; and the clay pipes identify manufacturers of clay pipes working in the town between 1680 and 1860.
Most of the medieval and post medieval artefacts have been collected as a result of fieldwork and excavations carried out by the Museums Field Archaeology Unit.
Museum’s Defined Area
The Museum’s defined area is the town of Halesworth and the villages and hamlets of its hinterland that have historically looked towards Halesworth as the nearest market town; the villages and hamlets being Spexhall, Wissett, Rumburgh, Chediston, Linstead Magna, Linstead Parva, Huntingfield, Cookley, Walpole, Bramfield, Thorington, Blythburgh, Henham, Bulcamp, Sotherton, Westhall, Holton, Blyford and Wenhaston.
The following excavations are documented at the Museum.
1. Fieldwork and Excavations at Halesworth (TM 387774): 1988.
2. Excavations on The Angel Site (TM 387774): 1989.
3. Barclays Bank Site (TM 387774) Excavations: 1989-1991.
4. Stanfords Garden (TM 388775) Excavations: 1989.
5. The Pedestrianisation of The Thoroughfare Fieldwork: 1991.
6. The Thoroughfare: Halesworth Toy Shop (TM 386775) Fieldwork: 1992.
7. JST Factory Site (TM 391768) Fieldwork: 1992.
8. 3 Bridge Street. Previously Kings Reproduction Furniture Survey: 1992.
9. 144 Chediston Street Survey: 1992.
10. 16 Thoroughfare NSS Newsagents Survey: 1992.
11. The Church Hall Site (TM 385773) Excavations: 1993.
12. The Angel Site (TM 387774) Excavations: 1993.
13. The New Rainbow Co-Op Site (TM 386771) Fieldwork: 1993.
14. Kings Tyre Replacement Yard, Angel Lane (TM 387774) Fieldwork: 1994.
15. Bus Terminus Site, Steeple End (TM 385773) Fieldwork: 1996.
16. The Old Brewery Site, The Market Place (TM 385773) Fieldwork: 1998.
17. Church Farm Development (TM 382773) Excavations: 1999.
18. Examination of 9 Market Place, Halesworth: 1999.
19. Excavations on The Angel Site: 2000.
20. Examination of 56 Thoroughfare, Halesworth: 2001.
21. Examination of 25 London Road, Halesworth: 2004.
22. Halesworth Archaeology Day: 11th June 2011.