Author: Winston Hollins, Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society
"The society has been asked to help with the location of Anglo Saxon Colton.
Colton is a village between Stafford and Rugeley. It has a very active
who contacted us, after we were suggested to them by Steve
Dean (Staffordshire County Archaeologist). They have had a very thorough
history survey of the village produced by John Hunt. From this and from
their researches and those of Reverend Parker (1897), the members of the
history society showed us two locations which they thought may be
interesting. The first is a field which adjoins the church. This church
probably has a Norman foundation, although most of what can now be seen is
circa 1851. Our resistivity survey shows a vaguely rectangular feature with
two clear sides at right angles, covering an area about 30 metres by 20. The
suggestion is that this may be the site of the Norman (or later) manor
The second site was in a private garden in Colton. Here, when some
landscaping was done, the foundations of walls to a possible 13th Century
chapel were found, together with a carved stone head. The resistivity survey
shows a rectangular feature in just the right place.
It is hoped that the members of our society will put some trial trenches
into the feature in the church field, to see if the resistivity survey
really is showing us a building and perhaps give us some dating evidence. It
is possible this may begin in October."
Since Winston wrote the above for our newsletter, we have excavated three test trenches in the
field by the church over 5 days of digging, and they were backfilled and
re-turfed on 7th November. Several members of the
Colton History Society
joined our society in order to take part and help us in the work. We are
extremely grateful to them for all their help and their good company - and
for keeping us well-supplied with tea, coffee, cake and biscuits!
moment what we seem to have found is a clay barrier which may have been
associated with water meadow management. We also found later ditches
filled with 18C roof tiles along with fragments of pottery including
slipware, black iron glaze and salt glaze. Some of the fragments appear to
be Roman and some possibly Iron Age.
This site will be updated with reports as they become available, but in the
meantime here are some pictures taken during the survey and excavation.
Click on a thumbnail to expand it.
Carrying out our resistivity survey on Colton Church field, August 2010
Resistivity results: Colton Garden 30m x 30m(L), Church Field 60m x
Light = high resistivity, Dark = Low resistivity
Left: Trench B with A beyond. Right: L to R trenches A, B, C
L: Gill of the Colton History Society using the dumpy level
R: Some early finds
L: Tiles starting to show in A
R: Clay feature and dark fill in corner in B (C beyond) - sorry it's
L: Trench B
R: Trench B 90 minutes later
7th November - final day
Trench B before and after sectioning
The final day's team
7th November 2010 16:30hrs
L: final tidying up after re-turfing
R: Eric shakes the last mud from his spade
Dave Thomas took the good photos on this page. Mine are the fuzzy ones - I
took them with my mobile phone.
L: The other side of the trench B section
R: The corresponding section in Trench A