Look at other projects:    Bedford Castle / Building Recording / Early Prehistoric Sites /  Oakley Road, Clapham / Kempston Box End

A505 Baldock Bypass, Herts

Earliest feature / Bronze age barrows / A medieval hospital / Bomb craters

The months between October 2003 and April 2004 saw over eight hectares of archaeology excavated along the route of the Baldock Bypass. We are currently assessing the results, but the evidence shows activity from the Neolithic period to modern times. (Client: Hertfordshire Highways)

 the aurochs' skull in a pit

Earliest feature

One of the earliest features encountered was a pit containing a deliberately buried skull of an aurochs, the now extinct ancestor of the ox.

the barrows in the Roman period
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Bronze age barrows

Towards the northern end of the site, a total of seven Bronze Age barrows, or burial mounds, were revealed. Although heavily damaged by later ploughing, one barrow still contained a cremation urn.
The barrow cemetery remained an important feature in the landscape for over a thousand years and both cremations and inhumations continued to be placed in, or near, the barrow ditches in the late Iron Age and early Roman period. Evidence of late Iron Age and early Roman occupation includes a roundhouse, two trackways or roads, and field boundary ditches. A range of late Iron Age and early Roman coinage was also found.

 one of the burials

A medieval hospital

Remains of an enclosure ditch and cemetery are thought to be part of the Hospital of St Mary Magdalene, established around AD1200 for the care of those sick and dying of leprosy.

 bomb crater in section

Bomb craters

The latest evidence consisted of a series of large bomb craters and two German Luftwaffe incendiary bombs, left over from the Second World War. The British Army kindly removed these.

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