A team from OA South returned in 2017 to Bridge Farm, a mineral extraction site in Sutton Courtenay with which we have been involved for over a decade. Previous excavations revealed extensive archaeological remains dating from the upper Palaeolithic to post-medieval period. The most recent excavation, for Hanson Aggregates, focused on a very well defined ring-ditch and a cluster of linear features.

Stripping of the topsoil revealed an entrance in the ring-ditch, along with several pits and a three-sided enclosure ditch. Pottery from the pits indicate that the features are of Iron Age origin and likely to have been used as storage pits. The enclosure ditch was also dated to the Iron Age. The curve in a segment of the enclosure respected the ring-ditch, suggesting that both features were in existence at the same time.

Further excavation of the ring-ditch revealed it to be formed of three intercutting ditches, with an internal diameter of 11m and external diameter of 16m. Two possibly contemporary phases, an inner wide ditch approximately 0.8m deep and an outer narrow ditch, c 0.3m deep, were superseded by a later steep-sided and deeper ditch. Artefactual evidence from the feature all dates to the Iron Age, but as the lower fills are incredibly sterile, a Bronze Age origin cannot be ruled out.

A small cluster of pits to the west of the enclosure ditch produced Saxon pottery and a small knife. A sunken featured building with two external postholes was also excavated. Two crouched inhumation burials were also found. Work continues at Sutton Courtenay on a further phase of excavation.


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