Monument record BSD 018 - The Bridge School, Sprites Lane, Belstead, (Prehistoric - Roman).

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A series of evaluations and excavations identified evidence of Iron Age or Roman activity


Grid reference Centred TM 130 424 (112m by 213m)
Map sheet TM14SW


Type and Period (8)

Full Description

An area of 1.1 hectares was evaluated by trial trenching as a condition of planning permission to develop the site. Ten trenches were excavated, within which several ditches of likely Iron Age or Roman date were observed. There were few clear indications of relationships between these ditches which might point towards one or more field systems, although this may be due in part to the limited trenching. However, environmental sampling of two probable Iron Age ditches revealed the presence of ferrous spheroids in the fill, suggesting smithing in the vicinity of the site and that these features could have been contemporary. In Trench 8, four post holes were excavated and a layer rich in Roman pottery and building material was recorded, whilst in Trench 10, a large pit contained fired clay derived from a daub structure, and Roman pottery. Evidence from these two trenches strongly suggests Roman occupation (S1).

A second phase of archaeological evalaution and excavation identified two ditches which appear to be a continuation of two features found during the Phase 1 works, whilst no archaeological features were found during the Phase 2 evaluation element (S2).

2015: In 2013, a trial trench evaluation identified a series of ditches and possible Roman occupation evidence at The Bridge School, Belstead. As a result, an area of c.0.29 hectares was fully excavated as a condition of planning permission to construct a new school building. A number of ditches were observed, only a few of which contained significant quantities of datable evidence and are likely to represent field boundaries. In the north west corner of the site, one ditch may be part of an enclosure, and contained Early Iron Age pottery. A line of four post holes immediately west of this feature’s terminal end could be associated, perhaps related to an entrance. The enclosure was cut by a later ditch containing Late Iron Age pottery, giving some indication of when the earlier feature had gone out of use. Roman features in the south east corner of the site included a large ditch and several pits or post holes. These contained material dating largely from the Early Roman period up to the 3rd century and point towards relatively modest occupation in the vicinity, possibly developing from an Iron Age background. Notable finds include part of a later Roman annular bracelet and building material from a reasonably well appointed building likely to have been nearby. (S3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Everett, L. 2013. Archaeological Evaluation Report: The Bridge School, Sprites Lane, Ipswich.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Boyles, P.. 2018. Archaeological Excavation and Evalaution Report: The Bridge School (Phase 2), Belstead.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Everett, L. 2015. Excavation: The Bridge School, Sprites Lane, Belstead.

Finds (23)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

Record last edited

Sep 16 2022 10:56AM

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