Monument record CAC 016 - Roman trackway and field system, Swallowfields, Bloodmoor Hill

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Excavation revealed a continuation of trackway and field system, evidence of metalworking and smithing debris, a beam-slot building and two pits.


Grid reference Centred TM 52006 90045 (217m by 81m)
Map sheet TM59SW


Type and Period (6)

Full Description

1999: A magnetic susceptibility survey recorded activity indicating the deposition of fire enhanced materials/soils and possibly in-situ burning (S3).
June 2000: Excavation of 4000 sq m revealed a continuation of the trackway and field system excavated to the east in July 1998. Details in (S1). In area previously evaluated in 1996 - see CAC 014. See (S2) for more details.
The Romano-British field system is extensive over the entire site, consisting of small rectilinear fields set out along both sides of a ditched and banked trackway. The track follows the contour of the hill east to west with the fields to both south and north. The northern fields only just extend into the excavated area and continue down the valley side beneath recent housing development. A north-south double ditched hedge bank runs down the centre of the site. The quantity of material dumped in the field system may suggest that the settlement was reasonably close - roof and floor tiles, querns, millstones and substantial amounts of slag and metal work. Truncated waste heaps; spreads of dark, finds-rich material, were revealed over and adjacent to the ditches. The surviving dumps were confined to a narrow east-west strip within the inner boundary of the field system. The Romano-British material should separate into two broad phases; an early phase comprising the material in the buried soil and within the ditch fills themselves; and a later phase including the sumps and the material infilling the silted-up ditch tops. A beam-slot building, and two pits were also identified at the extreme south of the site and outside the main known enclosures. Over 6,000 sherds of Romano-British pottery were recovered from the excavations, dominated by fairly locally-produced greywares. Metal working debris constitutes a large part of the finds assemblage. Over 160kg of slag recovered, along with large quantities of iron off cuts, rods and sheets. Assessment indicates that the deposits consist entirely of smithing slag, with considerable amounts of hammer-scale (S4).

See also MSF19104 Prehistoric ditch and worked flint, MSF21617 Anglo-Saxon settlement and cemetery and MSF19106 Medieval and post-medieval enclosure ditches and quarry.

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Chapman, H. P., Gearey, B. R., and Krawiec, K.. 2006. Assessment report: Excavations of a brushwood trackway and causeway. Compartmen 26, Beccles Marshes. Mortimer et al, Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Report 386, August 2000, ill.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. (S1).
  • <S2> Article in serial: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. PSIAH 39 (3), p.367.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Challands, A.. 1999. Report on the Magnetic Susceptibility Survey at Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville, Suffolk.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: Mortimer, R.. 2000. An Interim Statement, Excavation of the Early Anglo-Saxon Settlement 1998-2000, Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville.

Finds (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Dec 27 2019 9:58AM

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