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Rubbish dumps

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Most of these items form part of the rubbish that was used to fill in the Faggeswell Brook ditch between about 1580 and 1630-40. Much of it reflects the wealth of the aristocratic houses in this area. The decorated floor tile [1] probably comes from the monastery. It dates to the 1300s and was made in Penn, Buckinghamshire.

The damp conditions in the ditch preserved organic material, such as leather and textile. The leather items comprised shoes [1] and pieces of horse harness [2]. All date to the late 1500s. The shoes have flat soles, as heels only became common after c 1600. The fragment of textile, a decorative braid, was produced in Spain or the Spanish Netherlands [3].

Food remains included grape, fig, apple, walnut, coriander and hops. Straw and grass probably came from stabling. The animal bones included both food waste and other waste. A horse and livestock market existed at Smithfield since at least the 12th century. This horse skull [4] was found in the ditch, as well as many cattle, sheep/goat and other animal bones, much of it waste from the market and associated industries.

Imported and locally produced pottery was also found. These included German stonewares, such as this miniature jug [5] and part of a tankard [6], made in Cologne and decorated with Venus and the judgement of Paris. Another fragment of stoneware has been shaped into a counter [7]. The tripod pipkin was made in the Surrey-Hampshire borders [8].