Above.A sunken featured building of the
10th -11th century.
Note the wattle lining and the post holes one in each corner.
At least three 'huts' were found - they were of similar proportions to modern garden sheds and may have been artisan's workshops, as they were located away from the frontages of plots. One of these struc-
tures could be dated with some accuracy, for a penny of Alfred the Great (887-9) was exca-
vated from one of its two main postholes and a complete but fractured Thetford ware pot,
lying on the floor of the building, had dearly been discarded immediately prior to aban-
donment. This hut and several pits within the same plot were associated with intense industrial activity, as large quantities of antler working residues and metal working waste were found in their fills. However most of the metal working appeared to take place in the south east part of the site, possibly reflecting an attempt to locate noxious processes away from areas of dense habitation. In addition to iron working, there was also evidence of silver refining: there were fragments of crucibles with silver-rich residues and fragments of litharge (a refining residue). An enigmatic lead disc weight, bearing the stamp devices of an Alfred penny, was also found.
Following the Conquest, the site became a backwater. The establishment of the cathe-
dral and the castle restricted contact with the rest of the town and as a result there are no new buildings but instead a large number of quarry pits where sand had been extracted for use in building work elsewhere. This accords with the documents which suggest that the area had become depopulated: many of the plots, which had been built up,
were void when they were acquired by the Friary in 1292 and the church of St John the Evangelist, on the corner of King Street and Rose Lane, had disappeared.
Development of the Franciscan Friary
The whole site changed dramatically following the foundation of the Friary. Friaries may be seen as the last wave of monasticism that had flowed across Europe
Plan of the precinct of the Franciscan Friary around 1300.The excavated areas are in blue. Theremainder is basedon William of
Worcester'spacing of 1479and 16th-century leases.