Bury Archaeological Group

Est. 1953

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Goody Croft (SD 79600752)

At a height of 69m above OD, the excavation site on Goody Croft occupied the same river terrace as Radcliffe Tower, 26m to the south.

Origins of the place name may lie with an early tenant of the croft, for example, a record of the baptism of William, son of George Godday, officer of excise, is published in the Radcliffe parish register for March 1719.

A short terrace of early 19th century brick cottages built on the croft, survived into the mid 20th century. Archaeological excavations in 1977 took place within one of the cottage boundaries.

Beneath the cottage back yard, an irregular hollow 1.6m deep extended south-southeast. At its base, a stake hole surrounded by a spread of clay and cobbles, with coal and cinder, covered an area of two square meters.  Opposite the cobble spread, remains of a sandstone rubble foundation 1m wide ran 5m south-southeast.

Four meters beyond the south east end of the wall foundation, excavators found a circular backfilled pit 4.3m in diameter, with sloping sides 1.2m deep, to a flat base 3m wide. Stones probably lined the burnt pit sides. A fragment of lining 0.36m wide by 0.2m high, two courses, survived on each side of the single flue. Only rubble remained in the flue, which presented an aperture 0.5m wide, fanning out into a forehearth 1m wide.

Coal, charcoal and iron cinder found in and around the pit suggested smithing and/or iron ore roasting, probably during the Tudor period.