Wootton, Esher Park Avenue, Esher

Programme of investigation comprising evaluation, excavation and a watching brief by D Saxby of MOLA. Evaluation revealed evidence of Iron Age and Saxon activity in three areas of the site, with the subsequent excavation targeting these areas. Within the middle of the site a 0.4m-thick layer of sand was revealed that produced 1544 Early Mesolithic flints including microlithic flint points, microburins and at least four core adze fragments and a scraper (c 9600–7600 cal BC). The assemblage suggests the presence of a discrete short-stay knapping episode, perhaps centred on a hearth or hearths, with activity related to the maintenance and repair of hunting and foraging kit, rather than any long-stay ‘base-camp’ type occupation. Within the northern part of the site was a circular structure formed by a series of postholes. The date and function of the structure is unknown, but pottery recovered from nearby dates to the Early/Middle Iron Age and may suggest that the structure is a small Iron Age roundhouse. In the southern part of the site a series of Saxon pits and gullies had been cut into the natural sand. Overlying these features was a series of ard marks that represent a rare example of evidence of early ploughing. Truncating the ard marks was a large pit that produced a large quantity of Saxon pottery. These features were overlain by a thick colluvial deposit producing Saxon pottery, fragments from loom weights and a stone hone. Within the northern part of the site further Saxon pits were revealed, which also produced Saxon pottery. All the pottery dated to the late 6th or 7th century.