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Commercial Gallery

Crawley Site


Following an initial evaluation excavation, an archaeological strip, map and excavation was carried out in Crawley, in advance of the re-development of the Site. 


Evidence of human activity was recorded from the medieval period through to the early 20th century. A small assemblage of Mesolithic flint work was the earliest evidence of human activity, although this was residual and may have even been imported to the Site.


The earliest phase of occupation was dated to the mid to late 13th century when the Site appears to have been divided into burgage plots and a possible post-built structure was erected. This was followed by an intensive period of iron working in the 14th and early 15th century, which appears to have been undertaken on, or close to the Site. 


Numerous large pits were dated to this period, which had all been filled with large quantities of iron working slag.  A large well was also sunk at the rear of the plot, presumably to provide water for the industrial activities.


Only one archaeological feature was dated to the later medieval, or Early Post-medieval period, which was a large cesspit containing a rare assemblage, for Crawley, of late 15th to early 16th century pottery, copper alloy pins and a German jetton.


The Site was a focus of activity from the early 18th century onwards, with at least one structure recorded and numerous rubbish pits. A large assemblage of unstratified 19th century pottery was also recovered from the overburden deposits.


The archaeological results reflected the development of Crawley, beginning as a thriving medieval ironworking centre, followed by decline in the 16th-17th centuries and its eventual development as an important coaching and then railway town in the late 18th-19th centuries.

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