Element Group record MCC9345 - Bronze Age and Early Iron Age occupation features at Staunch Farm, Wormingford


Bronze Age and Early Iron Age ditches were defined in advance of the construction of a water pipeline in 2011.


Grid reference TL 9230 3261 (point)
Map sheet TL93SW
County ESSEX


Type and Period (6)

Full Description

Between January and March 2011, a trench was machined and features investigated by Oxford Archaeology East - the central (4m-wide) easement of a water pipeline by Essex and Suffolk Water, 617m long to the east of Staunch Farm.<1>

Evidence of Bronze Age activity was provided by a phase of probable enclosure ditches (160 and 173) both 3.2m wide and up to 1.06m deep. These were spaced c.700m apart on a north-east to south-west alignment. Five sherds of Beaker pottery were recovered from ditch 160. Beaker pottery is relatively rare within the archaeological record outside of domestic or monumental enclosures. Given the proximity of the presumed Bures St Mary's cursus, directly to the north-east and the adjacent ring-ditch complex, these features are likely to be part of the same monumental landscape, but may possibly relate to part of a field enclosure system.
Early Iron Age activity was attested to by two parallel ditches (113, 125) which were aligned north-north-east to south-south-west. These ditches are likely to be part of a larger field system. Evidence from the cropmarks within the vicinity, however, shows that ditch 125 matches a cropmark which is irregular in shape and pattern. Its location on a north facing slope would make it conducive to settlement.
Several features can be seen to disregard this landscape layout, one of which is a field system running on an east to west alignment (119,142,151,165). This difference may be suggestive of a Roman or medieval date. The remnants of an east to west alignment of fields can be traced through cropmarks to the west and east of the area, along with a trackway running east to west.
A further ditch running north-east to south-west at the north-western end of site (114) can be seen as a continuation of a field boundary located along the edge of Staunch Farm. The continuation of this can be seen in the 1880 OS map, which suggests a medieval or later date for the ditch.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> EXCAV REPORT: Stocks-Morgan, Helen. 2012. Prehistoric and Medieval activity along the route of the Wormingford to Abberton pipeline: Excavation Report. Fig. 2.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 28 2016 2:40PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.