Site watching and sample excavation by D G Bird for SCC of a buried watercourse feature revealed in gravel extraction. Three radiocarbon dates were obtained from waterlogged timbers in a section across the channel: 5230±95; 5210±80; 5220±90, all before present. An earlier and deeper buried channel was also noted briefly. (199)
Large-scale excavation by M G O'Connell for SCC, Hall Aggregates (Thames Valley) Ltd, HBMC, and the Community Task Force. Neolithic cursus ditches recorded in detail in several places, also probably LBA field boundaries and large pits (7 wells), some with waterlogged wood remains. The supposed `henge', tentatively identified on aerial photographs, was found to be an ill-defined probably Saxon feature.
Excavation by R J Poulton for SCC in advance of building work. A flint scatter and a Mesolithic tranchet axe indicated prehistoric activity in the area, and RB pottery and tile suggested a nearby site, whose whereabouts were possibly identified by a resistivity survey. The excavation produced a substantial early Saxon midden deposit, with much bone and pottery, the latter of a number of different types. There were also late Saxon ditches parallel to previous discoveries, and a scatter of medieval pottery. (216)
Finds made during gravel digging, probably from a former watercourse, include a Neolithic antler macehead, a LBA socketed axe with wooden handle (originally of two pieces like a wooden pickaxe), an IA sword with the bronze scabbard fittings surviving, a complete IA pot, a bronze cauldron, and other pieces of wood, antler and bone including part of a human skull.
Small scale excavation by M C O'Connell for SCC and HBMC to complete clearance of a large pit with a BA wooden structure.
Excavation by SAFG produced no sign of the suspected RB cemetery, but LBA sherds were found below a layer of silt.
Excavation and site watching by N Shepherd and P M G Tones for SCC, Crowngap and Royal Insurance in advance of redevelopment. The area proved to have been much disturbed in the post-medieval period, but it was possible to trace RB flood deposits in a former channel at the rear of the site, and some fragments of early RB clay and timber buildings in the centre. Finds from later disturbance indicated the former presence nearby of substantial RB buildings. Traces of a medieval timber structure were also found and the much damaged remains of a medieval stone building on the street frontage.
Excavation by P M G Jones for SCC and Courage in advance of redevelopment examined medieval river channels and an area adjacent to the Church Street frontage, where some deeper features survived destruction by recent activity. One deep linear feature had a fill of RB building debris, and a levelling layer over it contained early to mid Saxon pottery. A ditch filled in in the 1101/12th century and several 13th-14th century features were also found. (220)
Site watching by R J Poulton and P M G Jones for SCC and Tarmac Roadstone Ltd located some prehistoric features. Two sets of important finds were made during extraction, apparently coming from a buried river channel. They were five complete 3rd/4th century RB pewter plates (fig 1) and three iron swords, one without its hilt, one with a bone handle of uncertain date, and one considered to be of Petersen type L, dated AD 840-90,
Site watching and rescue excavation by R J Poulton and P M G Jones for SCC and Greenham Construction Materials Ltd revealed some prehistoric features and scattered medieval pottery. In one area three interlinked ring gullies were planned and sampled and several sherds of associated pottery were recovered. This appears to have been a MIA settlement site.