Pipeline north of WixoeA Roman post-built structure from Wixoe

Project: Abberton to Wixoe Pipeline, Essex/Suffolk

Client: Northumbrian Water

Status: Fieldwork completed 2011

Fieldwork by OA East involved 33 separate investigations along the 30-plus mile route between Kirtling Green, near Newmarket in Suffolk, and the Abberton reservoir, south of Colchester in Essex.

The largest site was at Wixoe in Suffolk, where the pipeline went through the Roman settlement long known to be there but never previously investigated. The site lies on the east bank of the River Stour, where the Via Devana, the main road from Deva (Chester) to Camulodunum (Colchester), crosses the river.

Prehistoric highlights included a Bronze Age cremation cemetery at Great Wratting and a Neolithic flint quarry south of Kedington. A new Iron Age settlement was identified to the north of Little Thurlow and a Bronze Age watering hole was uncovered at Great Thurlow.

Medieval remains were scarce as the pipeline passed to the east of the medieval villages (Great and Little Bradley, Great and Little Thurlow , Great and Little Wratting and Kedington and through their fields), though some evidence relating to the deserted medieval village of Little Bradley was uncovered.

Less work took place on the southern section in Essex due to the depth of subsoil protecting any remains. However, on this southern section around Colchester, part of the large Iron Age landscape was uncovered at Stanway and at Staunches farm the edge of a ?Bronze Age settlement was recorded.

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