Excavation, 1988

Excavations in advance of a housing development exposed the remains of an unsuspected and rare type of medieval settlement. The archaeological evidence was in the form of pits and the cellars of timber buildings which mostly left no other trace. One of these cellars, the largest, showed evidence for several phases of use, at one time lined with timber racking, and had chalk cut steps for access. Finally, the clay-bat superstructure was demolished and pushed into the cellar below to infill it on abandonment. One other cellar had visible steps cut in the bedrock. The pits appear to have been for storage purposes, maybe including hanging meat, and one seems to have been a saw-pit for cutting timbers.

Further remains were found of the prehistoric settlements previously partly excavated on the Blackhorse Road industrial estate to the south. In particular, an unusual density of multiple pits was uncovered at one end of an apparent Iron Age single pit alignment. This was presumably marking a boundary, possibly with ritual connections.

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