Early Prehistoric Sites
Biggleswade Sewage Treatment
Works, Beds / Whitsundoles Farm, Beds /
Buckden Quarry, Cambs
number of recent excavations have uncovered evidence of early prehistoric
life in the region, including two ritual monuments, at Biggleswade and
Buckden, which, although not as large as Stonehenge, would nevertheless
have been major features in the prehistoric landscape.
Biggleswade Sewage Treatment Works, Beds
During trial trenching we uncovered part of a Neolithic cursus, a ritual
monument comprising an elongated oval enclosure surrounded by massive
ditches. This was the first time that a Neolithic cursus has been excavated
in Bedfordshire, using modern archaeological techniques. Aerial photographs
of the area show that this monument, visible as a crop mark, continues
for at least 750m to the east of the development area. A Bronze Age barrow
was also investigated. It had been placed close to the earlier monument,
probably still prominent at that time.
The original building plans for the extension of the sewage works were
altered to avoid unnecessary damage to the important archaeological remains
recorded at the site.
(Client: Anglian Water Services Ltd.)
Whitsundoles Farm, Beds
Fragments of a Bronze Age Beaker vessel with comb impressed decoration
were recovered from a small pit during a watching brief, prior to quarrying.
Previous excavations in the adjoining area at Salford had uncovered the
remains of an Iron Age settlement and traces of earlier Bronze Age and
Neolithic evidence. It seems that this early prehistoric activity was
scattered throughout the area of the quarry.
(Client: Aggregate Industries Ltd.)
Buckden Quarry, Cambs
A ditch enclosing a tree-root hole may have been the site of a Bronze
Age tree cult. The small, circular enclosure, from the earliest phase
of the site, was a simple type of ‘henge’ (without standing
stones) that was probably a local focus for ritual activity. Was the ditch
defining sacred space around a ‘magical’ tree? Prehistoric
field boundaries and evidence of Roman agriculture trenches were also
(Client: Lafarge Aggregates Ltd.)
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