Members of SyAS, led by R Hooker, undertook a fieldwalking exercise across a recently ploughed field on the southern slopes of St Martha’s Hill belonging to Chilworth Manor. Some 300 flint artefacts were recovered of which approximately 10% were tool forms, mostly blades, cores and scrapers. Two probable Romano-British sherds were recovered together with some late medieval and post-medieval fragments of ceramic building materials, but no significant clusters for any period were recorded.
Evaluation by T Black of OA. Evidence of activity of several periods was found, mostly at the north end of the site. A buried soil covering at least 40m2 was found on the west side of the site that contained a mixture of struck flints of Mesolithic and Bronze Age date. The presence of flints of two dates in the same layer suggests this may have been a colluvial layer containing material derived from further upslope. To the east, a small pit contained undiagnostic struck flints that may be of earlier prehistoric date.
Evaluation by T Munnery of SCAU. The earliest material was Late Upper Palaeolithic/Mesolithic and Mesolithic/Neolithic flintwork from later features and overburden although residual, may originate from an occupation site or sites nearby. The most concentrated phase of activity was of Bronze Age, especially Late Bronze Age, date. Pits and ditches and a buried subsoil indicate the utilisation of the site for settlement.
Excavation by G Dawkes of ASE. A small quantity of Mesolithic flint was recovered, mostly from later features. The earliest datable features were four pits containing Early Neolithic pottery and flintwork. A scalene point recovered from one of the pits may represent the continued use of Mesolithic technology into the Early Neolithic. Three ditches containing Neolithic flintwork were revealed, although it was considered that these may be residual finds in later prehistoric features.
Evaluation by N Randall of SCAU. Two ditches and a pit of Early Iron Age date were revealed, although the quantities of Late Bronze Age pottery within the features also suggested occupation of this date on the site. Some Late Iron Age pottery was also present, together with flintwork of possible Mesolithic/Neolithic–Iron Age date. Subsequent excavations on the site conducted by G Thacker of OAS revealed more of the ditches, together with an additional pit and a posthole of similar provenance.
Excavation by D Calow of SyAS to test one of the anomalies revealed during a resistivity survey 20m to the east of the chapel in 2008. Three pits were revealed, containing finds suggestive of an 18th century date and possibly related to the annual fair. Worked flint consistent with reports of Mesolithic material discovered in the area in 1976 was recovered, but the anomaly noted during the previous survey was thought to have been caused by the underlying geology. (Bulletin 422)
Completion of watching brief begun in 2010 by N Randall of SCAU which revealed a series of broad ditches that may represent land boundaries predating the construction of Pendell Court on the site in c1624, and finds of Mesolithic, Neolithic or Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, medieval and post-medieval date.
Continuation of watching brief by T Mummery of SCAU from evaluation and watching brief in 2010 revealed several pits or ditches of probable late post-medieval date, and a single feature of, perhaps, earlier date, and recovered Mesolithic flintwork and a sherd of Saxon pottery.
Programme of fieldwalking by S Ford of TVAS recovered a dense cluster of struck flint located on the terrace edge of a small stream valley. The cluster comprises a strong Mesolithic component, although later Neolithic/Bronze Age material is well represented. Flint in more modest quantities and pottery sherds of several periods were also recovered dispersed elsewhere across the areas fieldwalked.
Watching brief by T Munnery of SCAU during construction of an artificial pitch on and adjoining the Scheduled Caesar’s Camp, following evaluation in 2008. The design of the pitch was changed after the evaluation to maximise the preservation in situ of deposits indicated to be present, with the majority of the impact of the development not extending below the subsoil.