Monument record YAX 041 - Possible small Roman farmstead and post-medieval field system, New Processing Plant Eye Airfield (COT) EXC

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Evaluation identified a possible small Roman rural farmstead and later post-mediveal field system. Features relating to the construction, use, and dismantling of the World War II airfield were also recorded.


Grid reference Centred TM 1273 7452 (399m by 342m)
Map sheet TM17SW


Type and Period (12)

Full Description

The evaluation revealed two main zones of activity in the eastern half of the site. Zone 1 was located in the north-east corner of the site and comprised a scatter of ditches, gullies, pits and postholes tentatively assigned to the Roman period, based on the recovery of a small number of pottery sherds. These features included two dark, charcoal-rich pits that contained burnt flint and fired clay with environmental remains suggestive of waste from a grain drying facility or bread oven. Ditches in surrounding trenches had varying alignments, and are likely to represent the remains of a small rural farmstead.

The second major zone of activity was located in the south-east corner of the site. The archaeology in Zone 2 comprised a network of ditches largely devoid of finds, and containing simple homogenous fills. The ditches had varying alignments. However, two principal axes have been identified, hinting at the existence of a pattern of rectilinear divisions reconfigured on at least one occasion. Dating is problematic, but the ditches are thought to be Roman in date, forming part of a wider field system previously identified to the south of the site.

Evidence of post-medieval activity was revealed across the eastern part of the evaluated area. A series of post-medieval ditches were uncovered corresponding with linear anomalies recorded by the geophysical survey (S1), and a system of field boundaries depicted on historic maps between 1839-1942. The evaluation also uncovered the footings and demolition spread of 'Red Barn'; a former 19th century agricultural building/farm demolished as part of the construction of the airfield in 1942.

Other features associated with the construction use and dismantling of the World War II airfield were recorded in the western half of the site. These comprised a series of narrow gullies, ditches, pipe trenches, levelling layers and areas of disturbance/localised contamination/ Metal detecting in the western area of the sites yielded a series of finds including a silver long cross penny of henry II and a silver United Dates Airforce identification bracelet clasp (S2).

Included in the Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History annual round up of individual finds and discoveries for 2018. (S3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Fortuny, M.. 2017. Geophysical Survey Report: New Processing Plant, Eye Airfield, Eye.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Kwiatkowska, M.. 2018. Archaeological Evaluation Report: New Processing Plant, Eye Airfield, Yaxley, Suffolk.
  • <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.

Finds (12)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Nov 4 2019 4:16PM

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