Finds which tell the story of the Gaywood Valley go on show in King’s Lynn

Cleaning up finds from Grimston are (from left) True's Yard manager Lindsey Bavin, Dr Clive Bond, Michael Neal and Mim Neal. Picture: Ian Burt

Cleaning up finds from Grimston are (from left) True's Yard manager Lindsey Bavin, Dr Clive Bond, Michael Neal and Mim Neal. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

Archaeologists’ finds spanning a thousand years of West Norfolk’s early history are set to go on show.

Members of the Gaywood Valley Archaeological and Historical Project have carried out a series of digs around the area this summer.

Items they have unearthed range from Iron Age pottery, to a corrugated iron air raid shelter from the Second World War.

Over the weekend, members of the team were washing and cataloguing finds at True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum, in King’s Lynn.

The items came from a series of pits dug around Grimston and Pott Row, over the weekend of June 15 - 16.

Working alongside 30 villagers, archaeologists uncovered fragments of Grimston Ware - distinctive green-glazed pottery from the 14th Century.

“The key thing with working with the museum here is continuing the story of the community, how the pottery relates to King’s Lynn in the Gaywood Valley,” said Dr Clive Bond, director of the archaeological project. “Grimston Ware would be brought down the river to be traded here.”

As Lynn’s importance as a port grew, Grimston Ware was exported far and wide. Samples have been found as far afield as Norway and the low countries, as well as closer to home across West Norfolk.

Pottery samples were also found mixed with rubble in one pit dug in the garden of a home in Grimston in a so-called destruction layer.

“It shows they had a building in their garden that was destroyed in one go,” said Dr Bond.

Other finds included the remains of a Second World War Anderson air raid shelter, believed to have been simply buried and forgotten in 1945. Also unearthed was a Roman Constantine coin, dating back to the early 4th Century.

As well as looking to uncover the history linking settlements in the Gaywood Valley through the centuries with modern-day King’s Lynn, the digs have enabled people to join in and find out more about the history of their communities.

Helping out with washing and cataloguing finds on Saturday was 18-year-old Fakenham College student Sam Greenwood, from Barsham, who hopes to become an archaeologist.

“It was brilliant what they found,” he said. “It goes through all different layers of history.”

“People don’t usually see this side of archaeology, they just see us digging the hole,” said Dr Bond.

Finds are going on show at True’s Yard, which is also hosting an exhibition featuring scale models of some of King’s Lynn’s best-known surviving landmarks, along with one or two buildings which have not survived to the present day. True’s Yard, in North Street, opens from 10am - 4pm, from Tuesday until Saturday.

The next dig by the archaeological project will be taking place around the village of Great Massingham, over the weekend of July 27 - 28. For more information, go online to

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