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Archaeology in the Park Excavations at Jennett's Park, Bracknell, Berkshire

Simmonds, Andrew and Cook, Sharon and Biddulph, Edward and Score, David (2009) Archaeology in the Park Excavations at Jennett's Park, Bracknell, Berkshire. Project Report. Oxford Archaeology.

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Abstract

In 2006 and 2007 Oxford Archaeology undertook a programme of archaeological investigations in advance of construction of the urban village of Jennett’s Park in an area of former farmland belonging to Peacock Farm, Bracknell, Berkshire. These investigations revealed that the site had been witness to a series of contrasting episodes of occupation and activity over a period of several thousand years. The earliest occupation comprised the small, temporary camp of a band of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers at the top of the southern slope of Jennett’s Hill, most likely taking advantage of the elevated position of this knoll overlooking an area of wetland to the south-west. The remains of the camp consisted of a concentration of worked flint recovered from a buried topsoil, and the range of tools present indicated that a variety of activities were carried out here including the processing of hides. The view may have been enhanced by deliberate clearance of trees, the resulting erosion of soil leading to the formation of a colluvial deposit that buried the ancient soil. After a hiatus of activity during the Neolithic period, when the site appears to have been little visited, activity recommenced in the middle Bronze Age. Features of this date comprised three burnt mounds, two waterholes, two trough-like pits and a possible cremation burial or deliberately-placed pot, as well as a number of small pits or postholes buried beneath two of the burnt mounds. Calibrated radiocarbon dates of 1630–1490 BC/ 1480–1450 BC and 1420–1260 BC were obtained for two of the burnt mounds. Jennett’s Park was first used for permanent settlement during the middle Iron Age, when a small farmstead was established. The settlement was occupied into the late Iron Age but was abandoned before the start of the Roman period. An agricultural landscape defined by a complex of field boundary ditches was established towards the end of the late Iron Age, but it is not certain whether this was associated with the final phase of the settlement or replaced it. The field system continued in use into the Roman period, when the boundaries were reorganised and new ditches dug before being abandoned, apparently during the early 2nd century. Evidence was found at the northern end of the investigations for two definite and one possible curvilinear stock enclosures dating from the late 11th-late 12th centuries, which were superseded by a system of fields and enclosures that were in use until the mid 14th century. These features may be associated with a posited settlement beyond the limits of the excavation, and their abandonment may have been associated with the enclosure of part of the area during the creation of Easthampstead Park. A post-medieval kiln, probably for limeburning, was excavated. This may have supplied lime for the construction during the 17th century of the first Easthampstead Park House, which has since been demolished and replaced at a different location.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Period > UK Periods > Mesolithic 10,000 - 4,000 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Middle Iron Age 400 - 100 BC
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Berkshire
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
ID Code:564
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:19 Apr 2011 15:44
Last Modified:22 Dec 2011 14:45

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