Dr Ken Hamilton, senior historic environment officer with Norfolk County Council, said the recent dig at the former Sommerfeld and Thomas site, between South Quay and Millfleet, had uncovered medieval deposits and what appeared to be a series of 18th century surfaces, like cobbles.
He said: “It’s certainly of interest because that corner is represented on historic maps but it has not been very clear what goes on at the junction of Millfleet and the Ouse. It should lead to more statements about the town’s history in that area.”
A report is being compiled for the county council’s historic environment services by the field evaluation team that carried out the excavation of a four-metre deep trench on the site, where developer McCarthy and Stone hopes to build a retirement homes complex.
The survey information will be forwarded to West Norfolk Council so that its planning officer and development control board can take into account the historic environment of the area when considering the developer’s planning application.
Dr Hamilton said when the town was founded the river line was much further east and it gradually migrated westwards.
In the 10th to 11th century, the excavation site was in the middle of the river and it was reclaimed in the 15th to 16th century. But the western half of the site was not reclaimed until the 19th century.