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.
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).
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.
A programme of fieldwalking and woodland inspection carried out between 1985 and 1989 shed light on the changing pattern of settlement and land-use within the Tillingbourne valley.
The attached pdf is a full report of this work of which a paper is published in Vol 101 of the Surrey Archaeological Society Collections.