Tr 2 (The Bullcroft) Background
Its name suggests it has been used for keeping cattle, perhaps in association with the town market where cattle were sold. An Augustinian priory is thought to have been situated in the southern part of the Bullcroft up to the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. No trace of this survives above ground. Outstanding questions are - did the Saxon and medieval street grid and associated settlement ever extend into the area, and was there once an intramural road running along the inside of the ramparts?
The vast sweep of the Bullcroft - was it always an open space within the town?
Location of trench
The picture below shows the results of a magnetometer survey conducted in the Bullcroft in April this year. Amid all the traces of recent activity, there are several features of interest. Lines running from north to south are traces of ridge-and-furrow (characteristic of the strip farming practised in medieval times up to the early 19th century). Set diagonally into the corner of the ramparts is a rectangular feature about 40m across, too large to be a building. Trench 2 is positioned so as to investigate this feature, as well as a curving linear feature running parallel to the ramparts (not showing on the magnetometer survey below but picked up on a separate resistivity survey).
Map of north and central Bullcroft showing geophysical results and location of trench.