Hengrove Farm, Staines

Continuing excavation by G Hayman of SCAU in advance of mineral extraction. Two areas were excavated in 2005. The northern of the two areas lay immediately north of the area examined in 2004 that included a large number of ditches, waterholes and numerous small pits and postholes, producing substantial quantities of pottery and struck flint, of Middle Bronze Age date. This concentration of evidence did not extend far into the 2005 area. The features were almost exclusively of Bronze Age date. Most of the features were ditches, forming part of the extensive co-axial field system previously uncovered. The second area was located at the south of the site, and was more diverse and bore a strong relationship to the area excavated in 2003 adjoining it to the north. The earliest features were of Bronze Age date and consisted mostly of ditches belonging to the field system, but also included two substantial pits and several small pits or postholes. The field system has been traced across all areas of the quarry that have been examined since work began in 1999, and ditches in this area can be seen to align with features discovered at the Ashford Prison site to the south and east. Iron Age and Roman features, predominantly ditches, formed a dense concentration in the northern part of this area, and were disturbed by a number of early medieval ditches. Several Iron Age ring gullies, assumed to indicate the position of roundhouses, were identified. They form part of an open settlement, for which considerable evidence was found to the north in 2003, and a substantial number of pits and postholes associated with it were also excavated in 2005. The pottery belongs to the Early, Middle and Late Iron Age, and suggests that occupation continued into the Roman period with no break. The Roman period is represented by a large number of ditches, various pits and postholes, and five waterholes. Many of the ditches discovered were in use during the late 1st century AD, some of these probably having origins in the Late Iron Age, and were linked to the system of fields and enclosures seen in 2003. Some early medieval ditches ran in an east–west direction, roughly parallel to the existing field boundary, and these may link to similar features identified in 2004, to the north-west. Two human skeletons were also identified, but were without associated finds, and are presently of uncertain, but probably prehistoric, date. Work within 2006 was located at the east of the site and revealed further evidence of the Bronze Age field system. With the exception of the small number of modern features discovered, and excavation of a selection of the large number of tree throw hollows, the remaining features consisted of a couple of possible pits, a large pit or possible well, and a probable cremation burial, all of which were comparable with similar features found previously at Hengrove.