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Roman, Saxon and medieval settlement remains along the Stow Longa to Tilbrook Anglian Water Pipeline

Atkins, Robert (2008) Roman, Saxon and medieval settlement remains along the Stow Longa to Tilbrook Anglian Water Pipeline. Project Report. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. (Unpublished)

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Between November 2007 and October 2008 OA East conducted a series of evaluations and two small excavations along a proposed Anglian Water pipeline and associated pumping stations from Stow Longa to Tilbrook. The archaeological work was very piecemeal over long periods of time and comprised 14 evaluation trenches (700m) on land between between the villages, 7 evaluation trenches within Tilbrook and 2 small excavations within Stow Longa. Within Tilbrook village there were at least two phases of Middle to Late Saxon occupation to the west and north-west of All Saints church and this was recorded over more than 100m length within 4 Trenches. The Middle and Late Saxon features ran in all directions including towards the All Saints Church boundary wall. These features are at odds with the well planned north to south and east to west gridded plan of Tilbrook today with the church in the centre of a large sub-rectangular gridded layout. This implies that Tilbrook was re-planned probably in the later 11th century. A few probable medieval quarry pits were also found and these seem to have been dug for the extraction of gravel. A large amount of modern make up deposits was uncovered near the river in the position where the 1802 map of Tilbrook seems to show there had been a mill leat. In the area between Tilbrook and Stow Longa evaluation trenches found previously unknown settlement(s) remains between a 1km and 1.5km to the north-east of Tilbrook. An Early/Middle Roman period (2nd to 3rd centuries AD) settlement was found within within three evaluation trenches over a 400m area. Overlaying this settlement in one trench was an Early Saxon to Late Saxon settlement (6th to middle/end 9th centuries AD). This latter trench was by far the most dense with the remains of 20 postholes probably of several different phases, some in linear alignments, 13 ditches (Roman and Early/Middle and Late Saxon) and at least four pits. Two of these pits were dated to the Early/Middle and Middle Saxon period and had been used as rubbish pits. An excavation at Church Lane, Stow Longa found six phases of occupation/activity. The earliest remains comprised a bank running parallel adjacent to the east of Church Lane. This bank was cut by a Middle Saxon ditch running parallel to the road and the latter could have represented a road-side ditch. The next phase consisted of a clay floor which was probably a 12th or 13th century date. This floor may relate with one or two of the east to west possible plot boundary ditches c.3m and 9m respectively to the north. This structure went out of use in around the 13th or 14th century as it was cut by east to west ditch. In the late medieval period (c.16th century), there was a probable post hole and post/pad structure and associated yard surface partly within the excavation area and was probably the structure recorded within the site on the 1591 map. The dating of artefacts within the cobbled surface show that it is likely this structure was abandoned by the end of the 17th century and the area has become pasture/grassland since. The Spaldwick Road, Stow Longa, site found the southern boundaries of the former cobbled medieval road and its associated roadside ditch. This part of the road surface was abandoned by the early medieval period. After disuse, the ground surface was raised in the 18th century with a dumping layer associated with the adjacent 18th century brick boundary wall of the manorial farm.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
ID Code:244
Deposited By: Joseph Reeves
Deposited On:25 May 2010 12:35
Last Modified:22 Dec 2011 14:27

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