Results of the 2009 Excavation

The principal objective for 2009 excavation was to try to identify, and date, the faint traces of probable middle Saxon buildings and clarify their relationship to the Late Roman and any earlier Saxon features on the site.Such buildings were difficult to confirm, but the secondary objective of removing the dark earth layer was achieved.

  

At the eastern end of the trench, deposits overlying the Roman road were removed. Gravel layers at the western margin of the road were continuous with its surfaces. Both road and adjacent surfaces were cut by a number ofpits, and the road itself was also cut by a N-S row of postholes, suggesting astructure had been placed upon the metalled surface. The pits identified in 2009 were not excavated at the time, but a Late or Post-Roman date seemedlikely. Some pits were related to the sequence of dark earth deposits that originally covered most of the site, particularly in the central area, where successive spreads of stone within them indicate that they had accumulated over an extended period. The dark earths seem to have overlain and been cut by pits, but as the soils were virtually identical, some pits were only clearly identified when indicated by a marked concentration of animal bone and stone.

 

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Removal of the dark earths in the NW part of the site, where they were thinner, revealed mixed gravel deposits. One well defined sub-rectangular patch of gravel may have formed the floor of a building measuring c 5 x2.5m and aligned N-S. Apart from the ephemeral outlines showing in the adjacent post-rain photograph, no clearly related structural features werei dentified, so the interpretation is uncertain.

 

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An E-W aligned ditch lay at the southern margin of this gravel patch and extended through the centre of the site, curving then curving south-eastwards to approach the line of the Roman road. This ditch was unexcavated in 2009, but was assumed to be post-Roman.

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