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Huntingdon West of Town Centre Link Road

Gilmour, Nick (2011) Huntingdon West of Town Centre Link Road. Project Report. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. (Submitted)

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Abstract

An archaeological investigation was carried out by Oxford Archaeology East (OA East) along the proposed route of the Huntingdon West of Town Centre (WOTC) Link Road, which will connect Brampton Road and Ermine Street. The investigation which consisted of ten test pits was designed to create an archaeological deposit model of the proposed route. The investigation has confirmed the presence of well preserved stratified archaeological deposits and features of the medieval to late medieval period close to the frontage with Ermine Street exposed in Test Pits 8 and 10, at the far northern end of the route. Very deep late 19th and early 20th century-quarrying is known at the southern end of the route, towards Brampton Road, where test pits 1-4, revealed heavily truncated deposits with no archaeological remain surviving. Test Pits 5-7 and 9, located within the Ferras Road industrial site revealed no archaeological features although there was some survival of partially truncated plough or garden soils, dating from the late post-medieval periods. This truncation was associated with the factory units and modern development on this part of the site. Test Pits located at the northern end of the road corridor, fronting onto Ermine Street have revealed the survival of a deeply stratified medieval sequence of deposits dating from the early post-Conquest (11th century) to the 15th century. These remains are characterised by floors, pits, remains of timber structures and a single infant burial (28-36 weeks old). The natural subsoil was located in the side of a pit suggesting that the earliest soil deposit may also seal pre-medieval deposits of Roman or perhaps Saxon date. The medieval and later soils were sealed and cut by 19th century house footings, belonging to former buildings that fronted onto Ermine Street, and a current yard surface to a depth of 600mm below existing ground level. A large finds assemblage was recovered, from the two test pits adjacent to the Ermine Street frontage. This comprises a work flint, prehistoric, Saxon, medieval and post-medieval pottery, medieval to late medieval building materials, slag and metal work, butchered animal bone, an inhumation and a early post-medieval finger ring. The bulk samples indicate general medieval domestic activity. Of particular note is the presence of a human foetus of 28-36 weeks old, that appeared to have been buried within a timber structure. The evidence of the evaluation has confirmed the existence of ribbon development outside the medieval town, along Ermine Street, close to the possible site of the lost church of St Andrews and in particular demonstrates continuity of occupation/activity until the late medieval period. These results combined with those of other local sites provide significant evidence for the origins, early development, and expansion of Huntingdon along the frontage to Ermine Street and are reminiscent of remains recorded elsewhere in Huntingdon, notably as part of the Huntingdon Town Centre Project. The remainder of the route had been truncated by 19th to mid 20th century industrial activity.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Primary Archives
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
ID Code:970
Deposited By: Chris Faine
Deposited On:20 Dec 2012 09:56
Last Modified:20 Dec 2012 09:56

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