The Leaze is an open area just outside the main town adjacent to Deans Court grounds.
The site represents a part of the town that, had history around the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries been just a little different , would have changed the size and layout of our historic town.
It seems to have been depopulated around the mid fourteenth or fifteenth centuries - both times when plagues struck and such dramatic events would have allowed any residents of the Leaze to return to the main town to take over vacated properties that might have been better than their own.
Markets brought trade and funds to the towns in those early medieval centuries but so too did taxes on local properties and residents and the original idea of an extension to the town may have had that in mind. The Deanery would have taxed the thirty or forty small dwellings
(4~5m x 6~7m) that the excavation of 1961-1964 discovered in between the ‘holloways’ that were the streets of the community. These would all most probably have been made from the clay and mud that was easily to find on the river terraces of the nearby River Stour.
The traders that lived here would most likely have been Weavers, fletchers (making arrows) basket-weavers, shoe makers and all the other craftsmen making everyday objects that could be sold in the Dean’s market and in others nearby.
“Limited excavations at the N. end of the hollow-way and immediately E. of it have revealed post-holes, pits and ditches, and have yielded pottery indicating 12th and 13th-century occupation.
Wall foundations have also been claimed, but their authenticity is doubtful (Med. Arch., 6–7 (1962–3), 328; 8 (1964), 263–4)”.