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 history society 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 house.

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!

At the 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 40m (R)
Light = high resistivity, Dark = Low resistivity

30th October.
Left: Trench B with A beyond. Right: L to R trenches A, B, C

30th October
L: Gill of the Colton History Society using the dumpy level
R: Some early finds

31st October
L: Tiles starting to show in A
R: Clay feature and dark fill in corner in B (C beyond) - sorry it's fuzzy

2nd November
Trench A

2nd November
L: Trench B
R: Trench B 90 minutes later

7th November - final day
Trench B before and after sectioning

7th November
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.
7th November
L: The other side of the trench B section
R: The corresponding section in Trench A

Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society, November 2010

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