Monument record LCS 161 - Late Prehistoric and Romano-British agricultural activity at Galloper offshore Wind Farm

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Summary

Features, mostly ditches with some pits, consistent with small scale Late Prehistoric and Romano-British activity probably relating to farming practices.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 466 626 (226m by 361m)
Map sheet TM46SE
Civil Parish LEISTON, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (17)

Full Description

The evaluation has proved the existence of features, mostly ditches with some pits, consistent with small scale Late Prehistoric and Romano-British activity probably relating to farming practices. The pottery recovered from the site, although mainly confined in any quantity to a single ditch, is of Romano-British date. Finds were conspicuously absent from the remainder of the features across the site although a sherd of Saxon pottery was recovered from topsoil. Some struck flint of prehistoric date was also recovered as was a moderate quantity of burnt flint from a pit again consistent with prehistoric activity.

No evidence for the ring ditch seen on aerial photographs and recorded in the HER could be identified within the course of the evaluation. Some struck flints of Late Prehistoric date were recovered from topsoil during machining hinting at some activity of this date within the site although no convincing material to ascertain any more than sparse activity was identified (S1).

The archaeological works revealed little evidence for activity during earlier prehistoric periods, although a cluster of pits and other features seem to be indicative of Early Iron Age occupation. One of the pits was notable due to the large quantity (over 6 kg) of pottery and fired clay found in its upper fill. Several undated ditches may have represented the fragmentary remains of a late prehistoric field system similar to those recorded during other work nearby. The principal findings of the investigations, however, related to the early and mid-Romano-British period, during which an extensive system of conjoined enclosures and trackways was laid out and periodically modified, until the site was abandoned sometime after the mid-3rd century AD. Four cremation graves, dating to the late 1st to mid-2nd centuries AD, were also found near what seems to have been margins of the enclosure complex. Although the enclosures are thought to have largely been used for agricultural purposes – particularly livestock management – there were also indications of contemporary occupation, suggesting that the site represented the remains of a farmstead.
Given the history of the local area and the results of other work nearby, the almost total absence of post-Roman remains, especially those relating to the medieval period, was unexpected. This seems to suggest that the westward expansion of medieval Sizewell was constrained, to the south, by the route of Sizewell Gap (S2).

Archaeological works revealed a common stratigraphic sequence was recorded along the majority of the route, comprising topsoil directly overlying natural geology, with isolated areas of made ground identified in the northern field that was associated with the construction of an artificial berm. No archaeological features were recorded although a single post-medieval coin and two prehistoric flints were recovered from topsoil deposits in the western field (S3).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: De'athe R.. 2011. Archaeological Evaluation Report: Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, Onshore Archaeological Works, Sizewell Gap, Leiston, Suffolk.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Wells, T.. 2021. Research Archive Report: Excavations at Galloper Offshore Wind Farm (Onshore Works).
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Lathan, J. and Piggott, T.. 2017. Archaeological Excavation - Gallopers Offshore Wind Farm, Sizewell Gap, Leiston, Suffolk, Onshore Cable Route (Phase 2).

Finds (20)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

Record last edited

Oct 5 2022 9:35AM

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