Evaluation by B Davis of WA revealed that the area was heavily truncated when the car park was constructed. A single linear ditch of probable post-medieval date contained a sherd of probable 17th century date, a fragment of post-medieval roof tile and a small quantity of iron slag, probably from iron smelting and most likely to be residual material of Iron Age or Romano-British date.
Two phases of investigation by P Jones of SCAU, adjacent to areas previously investigated in 2011 (SyAC 98, 253). No features of archaeological interest were revealed during soil removal to the west of the ‘Mesolithic hollow’ excavated in 2005 (SyAC 94, 370). There would appear to have been relatively little use of this area during the Mesolithic period, but later Bronze Age to Early Iron Age occupation was evident from redeposited material within a near-shore fluvial deposit of a watercourse.
Watching brief by J Condliffe of WA. To the east of Whitehill Lane, a series of eleven postholes on an east–west alignment associated with a large quantity of ceramic building material was identified. This north-west corner of the field is shown on OS maps up to 1897 as being a brick quarry and the posthole alignment probably indicates the line of the boundary fence that surrounded it. To the west of Whitehill Lane, a pit cut by a large posthole was revealed. Each feature contained two sherds of highly abraded Iron Age pottery.
Excavation by K Welsh of OA. A small hengiform monument, of probable Late Neolithic date, was the earliest feature revealed. Parts of a Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age field system were also recorded, with evidence for repeated modifications suggesting the relative longevity of the system. The hengiform monument appears to have been incorporated into the field system, rather than being overlain by it, indicating that it was still visible at this time. Evidence for settlement activity contemporary with the field system was also recorded.
Evaluation and excavation by C Ellis of COT followed initial evaluation of the site by AOC in 2006 (SyAC 94, 368). The work revealed that large parts of the site had been subject to extensive modern disturbance but excavation in two areas revealed evidence of activity from the Mesolithic, Neolithic/Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, medieval and post-medieval periods. The Mesolithic was represented by residual worked flint artefacts from later features.
Evaluation by G Trimble of APS (Archaeological Project Services) revealed pits and ditches indicating the presence of an Iron Age domestic settlement within the north-eastern part of the site with the presence of hammerscale in one of the pits providing evidence of ironworking. A subsequent strip, map and record of the area revealed a total of 22 features of archaeological interest. Two main phases of activity were identified encompassing the Early/Middle Iron Age and, to a lesser extent, the 10th–12th centuries.
Excavation by A Margetts of ASE, following on from contiguous work in 2012, revealed continuing evidence of Middle/Late Iron Age and Late Iron Age/Romano-British activity. Further medieval and post-medieval evidence was recorded, mainly comprising field systems. Results from the site show that prehistoric, Romano-British and medieval settlement in the area developed and extended in close proximity to arterial waterways such as the Burstow stream where fertile land, with both riverine and forest habitat resources, clearly presented an attractive proposition to ancient settlers.
Evaluation and subsequent excavation by W Weller of SCAU produced residual Mesolithic and Neolithic flintwork and a potential Bronze Age ditch terminal. An intensive period of activity began in the Middle Iron Age and extended into the early 2nd century AD, with a series of boundary or enclosure ditches and pits dominating the excavated area. The ditches may have formed a rectangular enclosure or field boundaries associated with a central domestic enclosure of a previously, partially recorded farmstead.
Evaluation by T Munnery of SCAU revealed residual Mesolithic and Neolithic flintwork, a number of probable Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age ditches and medieval or post-medieval quarry/dene holes. The character of the ditches suggests they form part of a field system rather than a settlement enclosure.
Evaluation by A Taylor of TVAS identified a single ditch at the western end of the site dating to the Late Iron Age/Early Roman period, which could possibly be related to the first phase of the Scheduled villa complex to the west of the site (a ‘pre-villa phase’).