Anchor Cottages, Eastbourne Road, Blindley Heath

Evaluation by G Webster of ASE revealed six ditches, two pits, and an irregular deposit. One of the ditches contained medieval pottery, another Late Iron Age pottery, which was considered to be residual; all the features and the irregular deposit contained slag, which suggests the presence of a medieval metalworking site in the vicinity. A subsequent strip, map and sample identified three phases of activity on the site. The earliest evidence dates from the Late Iron Age/early Roman period, with linear features representing a field system and a potential routeway. Some of the linear features are on the same alignment as the London–Brighton Roman road, the route of which is now mirrored by that of the modern A22. Iron slag was recovered within the Late Iron Age/early Roman features and suggests ironworking in the vicinity from this period. Sherds from just under half of a miniature jar recovered from one of the ditches aligned with the road and a possible residual cremated bone fragment (recovered from a post-medieval feature) may hint at the presence of Roman roadside burials. Evidence of a medieval field system, and an associated waterhole, illustrate further agricultural activity. Evidence of settlement on the site in this period was not revealed, but quantities of pottery, possible bloomery slag and the finding of a fragment of a Lower Greensand rotary quern, suggest that the settlement was located close by. Two large sawpits and a number of postholes represent remnants of post-medieval activity on the site.