Monument record BTM 040 - Iron Age occupation site at Bridge House Dairies, Mildenhall

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Excavation recorded evidence for mid-late Iron Age activity, comprising predominantly pits , ditches enclosures ,other prehistoric features and an Anglo-Saxon dog burial.


Grid reference Centred TL 7082 7410 (166m by 174m)
Map sheet TL77SW


Type and Period (10)

Full Description

2008: an evaluation revealed evidence for mid-late Iron Age occupation activity, concentrated in the western part of the site. The remains comprised mostly pits, some reminiscent of storage pits, with some ditches and gullies, including a substantial NNW-SSE aligned ditch. The pottery assemblage dated predominantly to the 1st century BC-mid 1st century AD, with small quantities of early Bronze Age pottery and flintwork also recovered. A single Roman pit was also identified. The site lies in an important topographic location for prehistoric activity within the Lark valley (S1).

2008: The excavation followed an earlier trial trench evaluation, which had revealed traces of Iron Age pits and boundary ditches, as well as signs of earlier prehistoric occupation. The excavation revealed five phases of prehistoric activity, spanning from the early Neolithic period to the late pre-Roman Iron Age. The principal period of activity was in the late Iron Age (100 BC – AD 43). At this time, the site was occupied by the peripheral areas of a rural settlement, the core of which probably lies immediately east of the site under the present Bridge House. The central and western areas of the site were occupied by a system of rectilinear fields or paddocks separated by tracks/ droveways, which went through several stages of evolution during its long use. The more ‘open’ eastern portion of the site contained dense clusters of rubbish pits, suggesting increasing proximity to ‘domestic’ areas. Particularly significant features included the skeleton of a young woman, which had been ‘dumped’ in a pit in an apparently casual manner, and several articulated animal burials (ABGs), which may represent ‘special’/ ‘ritual’ deposits. The Iron Age site would have occupied a slightly raised promontory surrounded by marshes and floodplain along the River Lark. The settlement appears to have shifted away shortly before the Roman conquest. A single ABG, the articulated remains of an exceptionally large dog buried close to the eastern edge of the excavated are, attests to minimal activity during the early Anglo-Saxon period (S2).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Unpublished document: Doyle, K. and Grassam, A.. 2006. Desk Based Assessment: Bridge House Dairies, Worlington Road, Mildenhall.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Adams, M.. 2008. Archaeological Evaluation and Watching Brief: Bridge House Dairies, Worlington Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk..
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Woolhouse, T.. 2010. Research Archive Report: Bridge House Dairies, Worlington Road, Barton Mills, Suffolk.

Finds (12)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Sep 20 2017 10:24AM

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