Monument record YAX 040 - Saxon, Medieval, and post Medieval activity at Eye Airfield Progress Power site

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Late Saxon pits and a Medieval-post Medieval field system were revealed by archaeological investigations


Grid reference Centred TM 1242 7475 (1861m by 1177m) (2 map features)
Map sheet TM17SW


Type and Period (10)

Full Description

2017: Archaeological evaluation identified extensive, if somewhat dispersed archaeology.
Evidence of early medieval activity was revealed at the far north-east corner of the site. The density of ditches suggests a small area of 12th century settlement, the fills of which yielded pottery and an abundance of charred cereals including free-threshing wheat, barley, rye and oats. The settlement was located on the southern fringes of Brome Common, a former medieval green site shown on Hodkinson's map of Suffolk dated 1783.
Across the rest of the site a series of post-medieval and undated ditches were revealed. A number of these corresponded to linear anomalies mapped by geophysical survey, and aligned with boundaries depicted on the 1839 Yaxley and Eye Tithe maps. Finds from the ditches were scarce, but a few sherds dating from the 16th to 19th century were recovered (S1).

2018: Six of the trenches contained archaeological features, including nine ditches, one pit and one posthole. The earliest securely-dated features were located at the northern end of the site and comprised two ditches and a pit yielding medieval pottery of the 11th-14th century. Historic mapping suggests that that these were linked to Green-edge/Common-edge settlement to the west of Pye Road - a former Roman road located along the line of the A140. A series of other ditches aligned broadly north to south and east to west followed the dominant axis of existing fields, and correspond to boundaries depicted on the 1885 Ordnance Survey First Edition map of Yaxley (S2)
Included in the Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History annual round up of individual finds and discoveries for 2018. (S3).

2021: An archaeological excavation was undertaken in 2017-2018 following the results of evaluation. Phase 5 represented field systems and small-scale pitting activity dating to the medieval and post-medieval periods. The earliest post Roman features date to the Late Saxon-Early Medieval periods and inlcude a pit cutting an earlier pond and waterhole, which was radiocarbone dated. Other features in the vicinity and to the north are likely contemporary. An unusual find was a small hoard of three worked bone needle cases found intrusive in a mid Roman ditch. Typologically of Early Saxon date, almost all of the other known examples of this date are single finds from burials. Area 2B contained a very large north to south orientated ditch and a smaller east to west ditch. In Area 3, the same north to south aligned ditch systems were apparent, with one very large ditch effectively separating Area 3 into two unequal parts. Instances of early and high medieval pottery in most of the contexts containing post-Roman ceramics may suggest that the wares were in use at this site in the same phase of activity, perhaps indicating that activity was most intensive in the 12th-13th centuries. (S4, S5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Gilmour, N.. 2017. Archaeological Evaluation Report: Progress Power Project, Eye.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Collie, T.. 2018. Archaeological Evaluation Report: Progress Power Project, Land West of A140, Yaxley.
  • <S3> Article in serial: Minter, F., Rolfe, J. and Saunders, A.. 2019. Archaeology in Suffolk 2018, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: Collie, T.. 2019. Post-Excavation Assessment: Progress Power Project, Eye Airfield, Eye.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Collie, T., Brudenell, M. and Phillips, T.. 2021. Archaeological Excavation: Progress Powe Project, Eye Airfield, Eye.

Finds (16)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Sep 26 2022 9:33AM

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