Onslow Park and Ride, Guildford

Strip, map and record excavation by A Simmonds of OA revealed a pit and gully dating from the Early Bronze Age and 94 pits that were attributed to the Middle Bronze Age/Early Iron Age. The remains were dominated by shallow pits, arranged into a northern group of fairly widely scattered, discrete pits and a more densely concentrated group of features cut into a chalk outcrop at the southern end of the site. Some of the pits had clearly defined, deliberately cut edges but others were amorphous and are likely to have been natural in origin, probably representing tree-throw holes. However, the shallow character of most of the features and the similarity of their fills precluded any attempt to distinguish between natural and man-made features. Dating of the remains was also problematic owing to the absence from many of the features of any artefactual evidence and by the small size of the assemblages from those features that contained datable material. In addition, most of the pottery could only be attributed to a broad date range because of the paucity of chronologically diagnostic attributes and the flint assemblage contained only primary debitage and a few cores, with no formal tools. It was consequently not possible to develop a reliable phasing system, and most of the features could only be dated to the Middle Bronze Age to the Early/Middle Iron Age. It is probable that such localised concentrations of pits represent the ephemeral remains of settlements, although no features were found that could definitely be ascribed a structural function. The physical form of the settlement is largely unknown. It may have included an enclosure as one of its elements, the west and north sides of which were defined by ditches. A quern recovered from a pit suggests evidence of crop processing, indicating that the economy was at least partly devoted to arable production.