Monument record IPS 056 - Old Valley Brick Pit, Foxhall Road, Ipswich, (IAS 8903).

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Major palaeolithic in-situ finds from brickpit. Includes material previously recorded under IPS 524.


Grid reference Centred TM 185 438 (276m by 416m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Major Palaeolithic site found in 'Old Valley' Brickfield.

1903-1905: Layard Excavations. Including Bronze Age Barbed wire decorated beaker excavated from circa 4 feet down (1904 or 1908?), (S10-S14).
1914: British Museum Excavations by R Smith, (S9).
1922: Boswell and Moir, (S2).
2004: Desk Based Assessment, (S7).
2005: Borehole and test pit information from the geotechnical report by Knight Environmental Ltd, (S8).

2007: A geoenvironmental and archaeological investigation was carried out at the former Bull Motors and Celestion Works in advance of redevelopment, where Lower Palaeolithic remains, including 134 handaxes, had previously been recorded in a series of excavations between 1903 and 1921, when the site was a brick pit. A trial pit evaluation established that the significant Palaleolithic levels were sealed at a depth of 5m and would only be marginally affected by deep piling for the modern development. A trial trench successfully located the earlier excavation trenches, and boreholes were sunk to a depth of 6m to recover samples for geoenvironmental analysis. This established that the Palaleolithic activity took place beside a stream feeding a post-glacial lake that became filled with brickearth. The related Pleistocene deposits formed during the transition from the Anglian glacial period to the Hoxnian temperate period, and Optically Stimulate Luminescence dating gives a mean date of c. 425,000 BP. An Acheulian handaxe was found in a secondary context. Pollen did not survive and no faunal remains were recovered, but ostracods were present (S1). This work was given the HER number IPS 524, since subsumed into this record and kept as a linked outline record.

See also: 1978 Excavation Corner of Bloomfield Street and Freehold Road, Ipswich by John Wymer, (S3).

See also: M.J. White & S.J. Plunkett, 2004, 'Miss Layard excavates: the Palaeolithic site at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, 1903-1905', Western Academic and Specialist Press. (S6).

Wymer (1985), (S3) Also mentions excavations in by Smith (and Layard?) 1908. These are not mentioned by either White & Plunkett, (2004),(S6) or Allen, (2007), (S1).

Sources/Archives (19)

  • --- Unpublished document: IPSMG. Ipswich Museum Extension Books.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Allen, P.. 2007. Foxhall Road, Ipswich, Suffolk. Geoenvironmental and Archaeological Investigation. Trial Pit Evaluation and Borehole Sampling..
  • <S2> Article in serial: Boswell, P.G.H. and Moir, J.R.. 1923. The Pleistocene deposits and their contained Palaeolithic flint implements at Foxhall Road, Ipswich.. JRAI, 53, 1923, 229-62.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Wymer, J.J.. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia.
  • <S4> Index: Ipswich Museum. IPSMG card. 1904-28, 1920-76.1-233, 1923-137.
  • <S5> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TM14SE59.
  • <S6> Bibliographic reference: M.J. White & S.J. Plunkett. 2004. Miss Layard excavates: the Palaeolithic site at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, 1903-1905.
  • <S7> Source Unchecked: Orr, K.. 2004. An Archaeological Desk-based Assessment of the Bull Motors/Celestion site, Foxhall Road, Ipswich.
  • <S8> Source Unchecked: Knight Environmental. 2005. Geotechnical Assessment: Former Celestion and Bull Works site, Foxhall Road, Ipswich.
  • <S9> Article in serial: Smith, R.A. 1921. Implements from plateau brickearths at Ipswich..
  • <S10> Article in serial: Layard, N.F.. 1902. Palaeolithic implements in Ipswich.
  • <S11> Article in serial: Layard, N.F.. 1903. A recent discovery of Palaeolithic implements in Ipswich.
  • <S12> Article in serial: Layard, N.F.. 1904. Further excavations on a Palaeolithic site in Ipswich..
  • <S13> Article in serial: Layard, N.F.. 1906. A winter’s work on the Ipswich Palaeolithic site..
  • <S14> Article in serial: Layard, N.F.. 1906. Account of a Palaeolithic site in Ipswich..
  • <S15> Digital archive: Wymer, J.J.. 1999. The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain (TERPs) The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain (TERPS). 22757.
  • <S16> Article in serial: White, M.J. & Ashton, N; Bridgland.. 2019. Twisted Handaxes in Middle Pleistocene Britain and their Implications for Regional-scale Cultural Variation and the Deep History of Acheulean Hominin Groups.
  • <S17> Digital archive: Historic England. National Record Of the Historic Environment.
  • <S18> Article in serial: Ashton, N. Davis, R. Kirsty E.H. Penkmane, G. Russell Coopef. 2021. Cultural Mosaics, Social Structure, and Identity: The Acheulean threshold in Europe.

Finds (12)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (8)

Record last edited

Jun 22 2021 1:14PM

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