Research & Fieldwork Reports - by date of work

The articles below record research and fieldwork undertaken by the Society. Many have not been published elsewhere. Click on the item header or the 'Read more' link to read the complete article. The articles are arranged in descending order of the work done, NOT the date of publication.

Chaldon Report 2012 and 2020

Transcription of aerial photographs by Simon Crutchley (English Heritage) led Mike Russell (2002) to suggest the presence of a prehistoric field system at land on Willey Farm, Chaldon, and that it might be associated with the nearby hillfort known as either War Coppice or Cardinal’s Cap. A visit to the area showed that some of the field boundaries appeared as above ground earthworks and it was decided that an analytical survey would be undertaken by members of the Prehistoric Group. An interim report was published in 2012 below. A report on the completed work has been published in 2020 and is available as a pdf attachment to this page.

Charlwood Excavation 2019

In November 2019 the final season at this muddy site took place. The intention was only to complete excavating a few features which had been left unfinished in 2018 when the team had to leave the site due to the deeply unpleasant conditions caused by the ‘Beast from the East’. Fortunately November 2019 was rather kinder and in spite of some rainy days there were enough dry ones for the work to take place within few days. In November 2019 the final season at this muddy site took place.

Charlwood Excavation 2018


In March 2018, a trench was opened to investigate a pit and ditch formation found in 2017 to the east of the known site. However, due to the weather and soil conditions it was not possible to undertake much work safely for either the archaeology or the volunteers (who were remarkably determined in spite of the challenging conditions). We now hope to return to deal with unfinished business in the autumn.

Excavations at Cocks Farm Abinger 2017

The annual excavation took place at Cocks Farm Abinger in June-July 2017 under the direction of Emma Corke. Volunteers excavated two trenches in an area of high agricultural activity on the hill adjacent to the known Roman villa site. This area was identified during a magnetometry survey looking at the environs of the villa which uncovered a Roman field system, a Roman lime kiln and a concentration of pits.

Bookham Courte 2017

A fourth season of excavation at Bookham Courte, a medieval manor house near the centre of Great Bookham. Of the four new trenches, one was an extension of trench 7 in 2016. All the trenches contained medieval pottery suggesting the site went back to the 11th century. The remains of flint and mortar walls were found, but the archaeology showed that there had been various buildings or structures in the area over a long period.

Geophysical survey and trial trenching at New Barn Field, Green Lane, Wanborough, 2016

The well-known Roman temples site at Wanborough lies north of the Hog’s Back between Farnham and Guildford. The site was first excavated in 1979, again in 1985/6 following large scale treasure hunting and most recently in 1999 when David Williams directed an excavation that revealed a second earlier circular temple (Surrey Archaeological Collections vols 75, 82 and 93 respectively).

Finding Farnham Community Archaeology Project 2014-15

'Finding Farnham' is a Heritage Lottery Funded test-pitting community dig established in 2014 in Farnham, Surrey (NGR SU 8447). Led by the Museum of Farnham and local archaeologists Anne Sassin and David Graham of the Surrey Archaeological Society, the project finished its first two seasons with 35 one metre squared test pits dug throughout the town centre in the month of July, incorporating over 500 participants in total.

A probable medieval ironworking site at Lower Mousehill Lane, Milford, Surrey 2014

The attached report by David Graham, with contributions by Phil Jones and Hugh Turrall-Clarke refers to a probable medieval iron working site in the garden of Coldharbour Cottage, Lower Moushill Lane, Milford in Surrey - NGR SU93892 42360. Finds made while gardening and during a subsequent limited archaeological investigation produced evidence of a medieval iron working site in the grounds of Coldharbour Cottage, Milford.

Excavations at Cocks Farm Abinger 2014

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who helped to make the latest season at Abinger such a success. It may seem odd to say that in view of our failure to finish the trench, but this was a result of finding that there was more surviving archaeology than anticipated. Much of this must be down to your hard work in tackling the difficulties of finding archaeological features in sand. As a result we have a much better understanding of the site and how to approach it in future.

Analytical survey of earthworks on Gravelly Hill, Caterham 2014

In 2014 land on Gravelly Hill was purchased by Caterham School and they expressed an interest in knowing the archaeological and historical background to their new land. The late Peter Gray had already noted the presence of earthworks within the area but access had previously been limited. As a result of the change of ownership members of the Surrey Archaeological Society undertook aa measured survey of the land within the medieval park and a small area to its immediate north.

An analytic survey of Dry Hill Camp 2011-2013

Dry Hill Camp is a large enclosure of probable Iron Age date looking across the Eden/Medway Valley to the northern part of the Low Weald and North Downs. It is multi-vallate and lies just within Surrey, close to both Kent and Mid-Sussex. An excavation in 1932 recovered few finds and the site remained enigmatic. From 2011-2013 a level 3 tape and compass survey to check the condition of the earthworks was undertaken and a report is now available in the pdf attached below.

2013 Excavations at Ashtead Roman Villa and Tileworks

The final main season of excavation on Ashtead Common was undertaken by the Society’s Roman Studies Group in August and September this year. The ground was very dry at first at the end of the long dry spell, making excavation difficult, but it did allow work in places that would usually have been under water (and indeed were at the end of the dig). The excavation was aimed principally at completing work on the area of the newly discovered building, the Lowther villa and the tile kiln(s).

Daniel Hall, Long Garden Walk, Farnham, 2013

Watching brief by D Graham of SyAS on the conversion of a late 18th century barn in 2013. Apart from a possible clay/chalk floor and signs of an episode of burning, there was no evidence for any activity on the site other than the remains of a shallow brick wall running across the centre of the building. The bricks were relatively modern, but underlay the concrete floor and probably represent the line of an earlier partition wall. It seems likely that the area was either open fields or backlands until the barn was constructed in the late 18th century.

Watching brief at 23 Castle Street, Farnham 2011-12

Watching brief by D Graham of SyAS in advance of building work. Evidence was found that the southern brick boundary wall had been built on top of and on the same alignment as a medieval ditch, which probably marked the line of the original 12th century burgage plot. The ditch had been cut by a later building, possibly 15th/16th century in date, which appeared to extend across width of the garden, and was probably contained within the curtilage of the plot.

Re-survey of three barrows on King's Ridge, Frensham Common, 2010

In 1996 the three barrows and the one immediately to the north were surveyed by the RCHME in advance of work to repair damage caused by horses and walkers eroding the mounds.  This work involved capping the mounds, though not the southernmost one, with sand and laying gravel along the line of the paths that cross the crests of the barrows. By 2010 the gravel paths were again eroding away and the mounds being damaged by the pressure of public use of the Common.

Reigate Heath Survey 2009-10

During the winter of 2009-2010 a topographical survey of the barrow cemetery on Reigate Heath commenced. This area is centred at TQ 237504, and there are eight scheduled mounds. None of these mounds can be certainly identified as Bronze Age barrows although in the early 19th century a number of mounds were used to plant conifer clumps and finds in two of these suggested that they were burial mounds (Glover 1814). It is also possible that natural dunes and ridges of harder rock were used and the monuments cannot now be identified by above ground evidence alone.

A re-survey of an outlying barrow of a group of barrows on Frensham Common, 2010

This barrow was surveyed by the RCHME in 1996 in advance of repair work, which involved raising the mound by about 60cm and laying gravel along the line of the footpath which crosses the barrow.  By 2010 this gravel had worn away and this mound together with the group of three to the south, was re-surveyed by D and A Graham of SyAS at the request of English Heritage, to record the state of the monument.

Survey and Excavations at Chiddingfold Villa 2002-2008

For some years now David and Audrey Graham have been undertaking fieldwork on the site of the building complex at Whitebeech, Chiddingfold in order to gain a better understanding of this enigmatic site. What follows is the text of a recent report to English Heritage dealing with the outcome of a geophysical survey. The report contains a useful summary of what has been achieved to date.


Farnham Castle new car park report, 2007

Watching brief and resistivity survey by D Graham of SyAS during topsoil removal to create additional car parking spaces. The site lies outside the area of the former (now filled in) inner bailey ditch, and no features were detected. A number of finds were recovered during the topsoil removal, however, including a number of musket and pistol balls, and three powder caps from gunpowder flasks. An incursion of parliamentary forces into the castle courtyard occurred on 26 November 1642, with the royalist garrison surrendering as a result.

Farnham Museum Garden Gallery report 2006

At the request of Mrs Anne Jones, Keeper of the Museum, a small team from Surrey Archaeological Society and the Farnham & District Museum Society excavated an evaluation
trench to the south of the Garden Gallery on 9 July 2006. The aim of the excavation was to test for the presence of archaeological material prior to the construction of a replacement building for the existing Gallery. Previous excavations in the garden, closer to the Museum, had revealed extensive archaeological deposits dating from the 12th century onwards (Surrey
Archaeological Collections, 84, 169-180).

Farnham Castle (Wayneflete's Tower) pipeline trench 2006

Watching brief by D Graham of SyAS during the excavation of a pipeline trench at Wayneflete’s Tower (SU 83753 47254). Little of archaeological interest was revealed in an investigation that was too limited to intrude into archaeologically significant levels. It was apparent that the ground around the tower had been raised by around 0.5m, suggesting that any subsequent intrusions below this depth will damage archaeological remains.

For more information please view the attached report.

Building works in Gardiner's Wing, Farnham Castle 2006

In 2005 Listed Building Consent was granted for works in Gardiner’s Wing, Farnham Castle. The Wing was divided  into  several  small  rooms and  the proposal was  to  remove a 
number  of  internal  partition walls  dating  from  the  1930s  and  later  to  create  an  open  plan office  space. The consent  required an archaeological/historic buildings  survey  to be carried out during the course of the building works and this report is the result of that requirement. 

For more information please view the attached report.

Geophysical survey and trial trench at St Martha's, Guildford 2004

A project consisting of an initial test geophysical survey in February 2004 followed in April 2004 by a larger survey linked to an archaeological test trench. The hilltop appears to have been levelled before the church was built and, possibly in the Victorian period, raised  again around the church with a mix of sand, mortar, tile sherds.. Little prehistoriv material was found, despite being reported from elsewhere in the vicinity. TQ 0275 4826.

For more information please view the attached report.

South Park Moat Grayswood, dam repair 2004

Repair works to the dam at South Park moat (SU 9160 3555; Scheduled Monument Surrey Nat No 12756) were carried out in July 2004 and involved cutting a 40cm-wide, 4m long and 2m deep slit trench roughly centrally from the south edge of the sluice. The work was supervised by D Graham of SyAS. No finds of archaeological material were made, but the west section of the trench was recorded.

For more information please view the attached report.

Chatley Farm Cobham 2003

Following on from the successful gridded field survey at Chiddingfold a similar exercise wascarried out in the field adjacent to the Roman bath house at Chatley Farm. The building was first noticed in 1942 exposed in a river bluff formed by the Mole, which flows just to the east of Chatley Farm. The site was subsequently excavated by Sheppard Frere (1949) and turned out to be a bath house of 4th century date.

Emergency Investigation into Treasure Hunting Damage in June/July 2002 to the Roman Religious Complex at Wanborough, Surrey

The Roman religious site at Wanborough (SU 9204 4958) has a long history of being damaged by treasure hunters and in many ways is the most notorious example of such activity in the country. Following the discovery of the site in the late 1970s a number of raids took place, leading to the mounting of a rescue excavation in 1985-6 (O’Connell & Bird 1994).

Mother Ludlam's Cave near Farnham - excavation 2002

A small-scale archaeological investigation at the mouth of the cave was carried out on 18 May 2002 by a team from Surrey Archaeological Society. The work was requested by Waverley Borough Council’s Heritage Officer in advance of the installation of new wrought iron gates. The landowners kindly gave permission for the work.

For more information please view the attached report

Hillbury, Puttenham topographical survey 2001

Hillbury Camp, on Puttenham Common, is a univallate earthwork, listed, on no clear grounds, as Iron Age in the county Historic Environment Record and by English Heritage. The camp (SU 9115 4680) is sited at the extreme west end of an east/west sandstone ridge, covers about 2ha (5 acres) and has a defensive circuit consisting of a single bank and ditch earthwork that runs on the fort’s north, east and south sides.

For more information please view the attached report.

A Roman site on Frensham Manor, Frensham 2001

Trial trenching in fields at Frensham Manor (centred SU 8396 4045) in 2001 located a Roman occupation site which survives below plough soil level and would appear to represent the remains of a small farmstead dating from the late 1st to the 3rd centuries AD. Finds of redeposited fragments of highly fired clay flooring point to the presence of a kiln in the immediate vicinity and metal detector finds from adjacent fields are indicative of further Roman activity in the area.

Farnham Park Survey 1998

In 1997 Waverley Borough Council, the landowner, commissioned a preliminary survey into the historical and archaeological background of the land that forms the New or Little Park (now Farnham Park), just to the north east of the town of Farnham, in Surrey. The Park, which is a public open space, has been the site of a number of finds of important antiquities in recent years.

31 Lower Church Lane, Farnham 1995

Building works within the standing building, which dates to the late 16th century, revealed a number of features subsequently recorded by D Graham. A small mortar-lined conical pit containing solidified lead was identified, presumably the remains of a furnace associated with lead working. No dating evidence was recovered, but the furnace must pre-date the standing building and appeared to be later than a stone floor, apparently of 13th century date, which was also recorded. From evidence elsewhere in the town, it is thought likely that the furnace dates to the early 16th century.

Hyde Farm, Churt watching brief 1995

Building works were carried out during 1994/1995, the main element of which was to add an extension to the west end of the house and to lay a new floor in the 'Well room'. Since the latter operation involved lifting the existing concrete floor and removing 50-60 cm of underlying deposits, the authors were asked by Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council to undertake an archaeological watching brief on the works.

Evaluation at West Surrey College of Art and Design, Falkner Road, Farnham 1994

As a result of this work, 1 Roman coin and 1 piece of RB roof tile was found with a very light scatter of medieval and post-medieval pottery and modern building debris. Apart from the pit and redeposited material in trench 25, no archaeological features were found.
A metal detector survey was carried out by members of a local club, who recovered a 17th century trader's token, but otherwise only found post-medieval (mostly 19th and 20th
century) material.

Excavations at Guildford Park Manor 1972-5

Archaeological investigations carried out at the moated site of the Royal Manor House of Guildford Park (SU 9691 4931) from1972 to 1975 are described. The site, which has no significant standing buildings, forms part of the garden of Manor Farm and is owned by the University of Surrey. Geophysical surveys, other surveys, historical records and discussions with the tenant farmer were used to decide on the relatively small parts of the site that would be most convenient and valuable to investigate.

Excavation at 12 Bridge Square, Farnham 1971

During October 1971, a limited excavation was carried out beneath the floor of one of the rooms of this old timber frame house in an effort to establish the date of its construction. In this some success was met with, but an added bonus was the discovery of the kitchen area of an earlier, more substantial medieval house. No 12 is the building at the rear of Tanyard House.

For more information please view the attached report.


Excavations at Orchard Hill, Carshalton, 1964-5

Excavation by the late Dennis Turner prior to a development close to the parish church in Carshalton recovered worked flint, including an important collection of microliths from the Mesolithic period, and pottery dating from Early Neolithic to the medieval period.

The attached pdf is the full report from which a paper is published in Vol 101 of the Surrey Archaeological Society Collections.