Ipswich UAD child record record IPS 1328 - Carmelite Friary Chapter House

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Reconstructed Carmelite Friary Chapter House


Grid reference Centred TM 1632 4448 (16m by 6m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

The Chapter House, 16m long and 5.5m wide, lay 7m south of and parallel to the choir, running eastward from the cloister walk. No walls remained but the north, east and south wall lines were indicated by the wall foundation trenches (0255, 0282, 0279, 0278, 0744, 1070, 5030). These indicated angle buttresses at the north-east and south-east corners. The east end of the south foundation trench had been destroyed by the insertion of a modern petrol storage tank (5075).
There was evidence for three phases of floor levels. No flooring survived of the first phase, as the floor had been lowered in the second phase.
The second phase floor (0651), had been cut to a level lower than the base of the walls and the outside ground surface. This required the underpinning of the inside edge of the east and south walls with septaria (0701, 1082). The tiled floor (0651) had been badly damaged by later pits and the concrete footing (5029). The largest area of undisturbed flooring lay in the north-west corner of the building. Small tiles had been laid in blocks, alternately square or diagonal to the orientation of the building. Further remnants of the floor were found along the south and western ends of the building, but here the tiles had been removed, leaving only their impressions in the mortar bed.
In a third phase the floor was raised back up with soil (0600), which was covered with a thin layer of sand with tiles set into a mortar surface above. The tiled floor (0261) had been totally robbed from its mortar bed, although a few were found in a layer of clay (0688) sealing the mortar surface at the eastern end of the building. Despite this, the imprint of the tiles had survived in the mortar bedding and indicated a larger tile to that found on the lower floor surface. The only surviving remnants of this floor were edging bricks (0618) on the northern and eastern extremities of the floor,
Prior to the laying of the tile floor, work was undertaken to solve a damp problem along the north wall, which had not been under-pinned. A plaster tanking was inserted against the foundation fill below the floor by the digging of a trench alongside the wall (0187, 0270). This third phase dates to the LMT period as 6 LMT sherds and a penny of Henry V (1440-50) were included in the fill (0600) used to raise the levels.
Four graves (0603, 0626, 1078, 1099) were located within the excavated area, all of which cut the lower floor surface (0651). Only the graves on the north side of the chapter house (0603, 0626 ) could definitely be related to the upper floor surface, as it had been substantially removed on the south side. In both cases the mortar below the tiles overlay the graves, although in neither case were any tile impressions recorded in the mortar. It is therefore assumed that these graves were capped with grave slabs and had been inserted through the floor, with mortar laid below the slabs. All four burials probably post-dated the final floor surface and grave 0603 had LMT pottery in the grave fill, (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Wade, K. 2014. Ipswich Archive Site Summaries: St. Stephen's Lane..

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

May 25 2017 10:39AM

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