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Archaeologists uncover further evidence of Nobber"s medieval past

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 20th May, 2009 10:09am

Evidence of activity from the eras of late Bronze Age to the Early Medieval Age has been established as a result of archaeological excavations which have just concluded at the site where the new Nobber GFC juvenile pitch will be built.

The excavation on the site was conducted over six weeks from the end of March to early May by archaeological director Alan Hayden and his team.

Mr Hayden said that the Bronze Age material on the site was further evidence of the intensive prehistoric presence in the Nobber area and relates to the Moynagh Lough site which was excavated throughout the 1980s and 1990s by archaeologist John Bradley.

Among the items found on the site was a fullacht fiadh, which dates from the Bronze Age. A deer antler was found there which may be the first example of animal bone from a fullacht fiadh. Mr Hayden said 'a fullacht fiadh translates as a place for cooking deer so the deer antler is rather a fitting find!'

A Bronze Age round house was also found. It measured six metres in diameter, with the doorway in the south-east of the dwelling, away from the prevailing wind. It was located right beside the fullacht fiadh.

A large ditch which crosses the site has also been discovered. Its date is not clear but it is from before the medieval period.

Remains of six properties dating from the medieval period were found on the site of the juvenile pitch also. These would be like long back gardens of the time. There were drainage gullies separating each property. The houses belonging to these gardens would have been situated further up the hill nearer to the Bridge Park site.

Alan Hayden said that within the site one large medieval building which was not a house but like a small industrial building was also uncovered.

There are other medieval era findings, dating from the 13th to the 15th century. These include two corn-drying kilns, two large baking ovens and three large kilns. A number of medieval pits have been found throughout the site.

Alan Hayden concluded: 'The site shows that Nobber was a substantial medieval town and that a significant amount of archaeological remains survive within the modern village.'

The findings on this site show that the material excavated in 2007 on the site of two houses at Bridge Park are related. At Bridge Park, excavations took place in summer 2007, conducted by a team directed by archaeologist Matthew Seaver on an area where two of 22 houses have been built. At this site, the first evidence of medieval settlement in Nobber was found.

Alan Hayden said that the football pitch site shows that the whole area of the village has archaeological potential, especially for the medieval period. The findings on the pitch site show that the area of the Bridge Park houses and the juvenile football pitch site were one huge medieval site.

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