A large copper alloy cauldron known as a 'Westland' cauldron, from Drapers' Gardens, London


Waterstone Park and Stone Castle, Kent

Stone Castle & Waterstone Park, Kent

Following an archaeological evaluation, an archaeological excavation was undertaken by Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd on land at Residential Phase II (Southern Parcel), Waterstone Park, Stone Castle, Kent. The site was commissioned by CgMs Consulting Ltd on behalf of Countryside Properties in advance of a proposed redevelopment of the site for residential purposes.

An initial excavation area was opened up in the location of the primary evaluation trenches. A further strip of land was then subsequently stripped to the west of the excavation area in order to provide an access roadway for site vehicles once the eastern excavation area had been cleared of archaeological features. Following the handover of both the roadway and eastern excavation area, two further zones of excavation were opened up to the north and south of the roadway strip. Once these areas had been completed, a further six evaluation trenches were excavated at the extreme western end of the site. The total excavation area encompassed 6365.74mē.

The earliest evidence of archaeological activity on the site dated to between the Late Iron Age and Early Roman periods, with the vast majority of the archaeological features revealed during the excavation belonging to this phase of occupation. A large curvilinear enclosure was recorded in the central area of the site and was interpreted as a corral utilised for the purposes of livestock control, along with a number of other enclosures. The precise function of these enclosures was unclear, although the structured deposition of specific materials within the ditch fills suggested that they were of symbolic importance.

A considerable number of Late Iron Age to Early Roman pits were recorded across the site and included both a dog and foal burial.

The early post-medieval period was represented by a series of pits aligned in two parallel north-east south-west aligned rows. These features have been interpreted as tree pits or plant beds which would formerly have bordered an access route to Stone Castle.

The extreme west end of the site is opened up to excavation Archaeologists clear the area of archaeological features Land ready for development, the castle and newly built houses can be seen in the distance Finished housing and the historic castle compliment each other in the landscape

Burringham Court, Roman Way, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire

Burringham Court by Pelham Homes was a flagship development in the western suburbs of Scunthorpe. It took in land occupied by a large derelict detached house with substantial gardens to provide 24 three and four bedroom homes.
PCA evaluated the site by trial trenching in January 2002, this work being required as a planning condition. Romano-British pottery had been found in 1949 over a wide area to the east of the site, this broadly suggesting that activity of this era could be present. The evaluation recorded important archaeological remains from the late Iron Age through to the late Roman period and a large open area excavation was undertaken during the second half of 2002, this work unearthing an important, extensive and hitherto unknown archaeological site.

A ditch along the northern edge of the site produced sherds of pottery dating to the late Iron Age and this provided important evidence of late prehistoric settlement. From the early Roman period until the mid 3rd century AD the site appears to have largely been given over to a mixture of agriculture and small-scale industry. A number of structures were interpreted as grain-driers, suggesting an intensification in the processing of agricultural produce as the Romano-British site expanded. Two wells were recorded in the eastern part of the site, along with a number of large irregular pits, possibly dug to extract clay. From the mid 3rd century the site went into a period of rapid decline and it was evidently completely abandoned by the later 4th century.

The site proved to be very important in a local and regional context as it offered an opportunity to investigate Iron Age and Romano-British activity in a locality where very little was previously known. PCA produced a monograph on the findings in 2009, this jointly funded by Pelham Homes (now Gladedale) and Bloor Homes, the sponsors of similar project conducted in the near vicinity at Bottesford.

Interestingly, in 2010 PCA was commissioned to evaluate the site of former allotment gardens immediately to the west of Roman Way. This recent work – also undertaken ahead of a proposed residential development - recorded no evidence of archeological activity, suggesting that the lane which divides the two sites lies along the line of an ancient land boundary of some significance.