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Assessment excavations in the Master's Garden: Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

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Edwards, David 


Excavations within the Master's Garden at Corpus Christi College were carried out to assess the archaeological impact of a possible development along its west side. Test trenches revealed the relatively well-preserved floor levels of the sixteenth century Tennis Court known to have occupied the site. Below this, less than a metre of medieval deposits survived, most of which seem to relate to use of this area as gardens, after the College acquired this land. A gravel surface within these deposits seems likely to be of fifteenth century date. These garden soils directly overlay one or more early medieval pits, probably relating to gravel extraction. The pit fills included significant quantities of well-preserved Saxo-Norman pottery, the earliest likely to be of tenth century date, as well as bones and botanical remains. This evidence indicates early medieval domestic activity in the close vicinity although it is unclear what impact gravel pitting may have had. It is possible that there has been some truncation of earlier medieval deposits.



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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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