Monument record MNL 638 - Intensive Romano-British rural landscape at Former Smoke House Inn

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Evaluation trenching and excavation revealed a substantial Romano-British rural landscape, comprised of complex ditched enclosures and associated structures, dating between the late 1st and late 4th centuries AD.


Grid reference Centred TL 6891 7790 (264m by 227m)
Map sheet TL67NE


Type and Period (19)

Full Description

2009: Archaeological trial trench evaluation in advance of housing development at Beck Row, Mildenhall has identified substantial and well preserved evidence of Roman occupation across an area of up to 3ha, an extension to deposits previously identified at a series of adjacent excavations. Occupation appears to have largely developed from the 2nd century and continued through to the end of the Roman period. The density of deposits and presence of a preserved Roman soil horizon through many of the trenches indicates a focus for domestic activity, supported by a sizeable finds assemblage which includes Roman roof tile and two complete copper alloy objects, a statuette and bowl. Remaining trenches contained a widespread scatter of ditches and pits indicating broader agricultural or domestic activity around this focus. Scattered evidence was also identified of a low intensity phase of prehistoric activity, most likely early Iron Age in date, of which part was associated with the natural infilling of one of the hollows that are known to have formed a typical feature of the prehistoric landscape (S1).
Evaluation archived under MNL 618 code.

2011: Archaeological excavation revealed further evidence of the substantial Romano-British rural landscape previously identified during the evaluation trenching. The occupation of the site consisted of seven distinct sub-phases dated to between the late 1st to late 4th centuries AD. The features appear predominately agricultural in purpose with a series of evolving complex ditched enclosure systems, with the earliest to the north of the site and later spreading to the south and west. The enclosures included a ‘ladder’ system dated to the mid 3rd and early 4th centuries. Ten structures were identified on the site, all appeared to be agricultural in purpose, including post built store houses or granaries. The environmental samples and animal bone assemblages attest to a mixed Romano-British economy in the local area with evidence of cereal crops and grazing animals. Amongst the other features were several cremations and a neonatal burial, a possible coin hoard or purse group, and a kiln/oven that may have been associated with the drying or cereals. The presence of slag on the site and a possible tuyere point to potential iron working activity within the surrounding area. The site is clearly part of a wider and rich complex Romano-British rural landscape associated with sites such as MNL 502 (S2, S3).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Craven, J.. 2009. Archaeological Evaluation Report, MNL 618 Former Smoke House Inn and MNL 619 Land adjacent The Street and Holmsey Green Road, Beck Row, Mildenhall.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Mutstchin, A. & Thompson, P.. 2014. Former Smoke House Inn, Beck Row, Mildenhall, Suffolk: Research Archive Report, Volume I & II.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Mustchin, A. and Woolhouse, T.. 2012. Updated Project Design, Former Smoke House Inn, Beck Row, Mildenhall, Suffolk.

Finds (44)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Oct 9 2017 10:33AM

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