In 1995 a large-scale excavation was undertaken to the south of the Little Ouse in Thetford, in an area which had once been part of the Late Saxon settlement.
Analysis of deposits from the river valley has given important new insights into local environmental conditions from the Bronze Age through to the Late Saxon period.
The excavation results have added significantly to our understanding of Late Saxon Thetford, and confirmed that there was no earlier settlement in this part of the town. That the success of Thetford as a large and influential town was fairly short-lived was reflected in the relatively brief main span of activity, which was mostly concentrated in the 10th to early 12th centuries.
The evidence for occupation consisted of post-hole structures and sunken-featured buildings, rubbish pits and wells. As well as indicating domestic habitation, the artefactual evidence included waste products from the working of silver, copper alloy and iron. A number of hearths appear to have been associated with metalworking. Occupation continued, on a much smaller scale, in the 13th and 14th centuries, after which the area became open fields. The site remained open until light industrial development took place in the 20th century.
Heather Wallis, 2005. 'Excavations at Mill Lane, Thetford', East Anglian Archaeology 108