Historic building recording by H Samuels and S Chandler of ASE. The ammunition depot at Banstead formed one of three depots built between 1938 and 1939 to store and supply ammunition for the anti-aircraft batteries surrounding and defending London. The Banstead site supplied the South-West London sector from Dulwich to Raynes Park and included the South-East region for a short period in 1940. The site officially closed as an active storage/distribution centre in 1953. The site structures form an example of the early use of reinforced concrete for defensive military purposes.
Evaluation by W Perkins of PCA. The recovery of brick and tile fragments from the subsoil suggest that the area had previously been ploughed agricultural land before becoming woodland, as shown on 20th century OS maps. A single posthole or small pit was revealed that contained fragments of burnt flint but no dating material.
Historic building recording by S Angell of CBAS of a substantial, 20th century double-winged hut prior to its demolition. The structure had probably been relocated from elsewhere and may have been modified at that time to fit the available space between the adjacent railway line and Woodfield Road. Its original construction probably dates to the First World War and based on similar structures, its size and form suggest that it was built for use as a YMCA hut or for administrative operations within a troop training camp.
Evaluation by W Weller of SCAU revealed significant modern disturbance and truncation, indicative of a high level of landscaping works in recent years. Four small pits or postholes of post-medieval date were recorded, but there was no evidence that they were related to the former 18th century farmstead known from cartographic evidence.
A fourth season of excavation by L Spencer of SyAS on the probable site of the medieval Bookham Courte revealed a section of cobbled surface under a highly compacted layer of chalk and flint. Its location and the pottery assemblage recovered from the layer suggest that it may be part of the ‘Great Yarde’ referred to in a 1616 description of Bookham Courte. A short continuation of a line of large chalk blocks, first recorded to the west in 2015 (SyAC 100, 282), was seen to extend east beyond the limit of excavation. The structure, if it was such, would have had little structural strength.
Evaluation by J Payne of SCAU on the second of three phases of development revealed a single linear ditch of probable post-medieval date that may equate to a field boundary shown on the c1840 tithe map.
Evaluation by T Collie of SCAU. The results show prehistoric and/or medieval or early post-medieval activity across the area. Most of the features were identified in trenches located across the western half of the southern field, and they include a number of substantial ditches of probable medieval or early post-medieval date.
Evaluation by W Weller of SCAU revealed no archaeological features. Some finds were recovered from the subsoil and spoil heaps including a small amount of struck flint and post-medieval/modern ceramics.
Historic building recording by S Angell of CBAS. The extant buildings appear to date from the Second World War and follow a fairly standard ‘ministry building’ form, although most have been considerably modified. Many associated buildings are known to have been demolished as the function of the site changed.
Evaluation by P Capps of WA revealed no archaeological features or deposits. Anomalies identified in a previous geophysical survey were revealed to be modern land drains and their associated cuts. The evaluation did reveal a redeposited clay layer relating to the construction of the 19th century railway embankment that runs along the south-eastern edge of the site.