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Ambrosden Court, Merton Road, Ambrosden, Oxfordshire

Hughes, Vix Ambrosden Court, Merton Road, Ambrosden, Oxfordshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

November 2015 Oxford Archaeology was commissioned by Croudace Homes to undertake an archaeological evaluation of the site of a proposed housing development at Ambrosden Court, Merton Road, Ambrosden, Oxfordshire (centred on SP 6018 1911). A total of 13 trenches were excavated across the proposed development which aims to construct 45 new homes. The work was undertaken as a condition of Planning Permission (planning ref: 13/01669/OUT). Evidence was found for agricultural activity of late-medieval/post-medieval date across the site in the form of field drainage features including plough furrows, field ditches and drains. No evidence of earlier activity was recorded on the site. A series of sterile ditches were identified and may have formed part of more extensive fieldsystems, either acting as field boundaries or assisting drainage. The exact dating of some of the fields are unknown since very little dating evidence was recovered but residual fragments of abraded Roman material were found in one ditch. A number of the ditches are, in general, on similar alignments to the furrows and it may be that they are remnants of strip fields. Two 17th-18th-century stone drains were also seen aligned NW-SE in two of the trenches. These were perhaps associated with attempts to further define and improve the drainage close to the floodplain fields to the south-west. The 19th-century OS mapping for the area shows that the western side was regarded as marshy ground. This has been substantiated by the sequence of alluvial deposits overlain by peaty/humic material in the western most trenches. A clear change was seen within one of the trenches which corresponds to an old field boundary. Deliberate dumping of material to raise the ground level and allow the entire western field to be utilised, appears to have occurred in the mid-20th century. The material used as infill was consistent with Victorian demolition rubble. It is assumed that these were demolished and imported from elsewhere, rather than representing any in-situ structures present on the site. The evaluation identified several phases of drainage features indicating that there have been sustained attempts to utilise the edge of the floodplain. No features were found to pre-date the late medieval/post-medieval periods and what was found is consistent with an agricultural landscape. Based on these results the site is believed to have low archaeological potential.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:3250
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:28 Jun 2017 10:51
Last Modified:28 Jun 2017 10:51

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