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Right. Excavations continued even during snow. This is the tower of the church of St

Peter Mancroft, which proved to be an excellent photographic tower for the excavations. A

Romanesque church stood on the same location and was focal to the novus burgus.

Below. Another view from the roof of St

Peter Mancroft, but this time at right angles to the view opposite. This shows the market founded by the Normans with the

Guildhall at the north end. The excavated site was thus adjacent to the market place.

possibly in Norwich too the distinction between the two boroughs -French and English - survived well into the later Middle

Ages. The separate French and English boroughs in Nottingham had their own sheriff and bailiff, whether this might also have been the case in Norwich has yet to be established. The inheritance practices prevailing in both parts remained distinctive, with primogeniture in the French borough and 'borough English' in the rest. But how far was this

'French borough' entirely new?

Prior to the creation of the French Borough this part of the city was thought to have been essentially rural. The parish name of Mancroft may derive from (ge)maene croft or common enclosure. It has been suggested that the 5 shaped streets, making up part of the French

Borough's street system, are indicative of rural lanes. Therefore, these streets appear to be a fossilised non-urban landscape dating from before the laying out of the new city.

There was however some earlier activity.

The stratigraphically earliest features were parallel ditches aligned northwest-to-south-

east. These differed dramatically in their alignment from the Norman and modern street plan. Both sets of ditches contained some Thetford type ware pottery and a pit




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