Council for British Archaeology

South Midlands Region

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire & Oxfordshire





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Recent Fieldwork



Autumn 2009


1. Highlights include 3 excavations:

i At Manor Farm, Wolverton a probable Cursus has been revealed during Phase 3 of the quarry. Two parallel ditches have been exposed; c. 260m of the southern ditch and c. 300m of the northern ditch. There are two staggered causeways, one across each ditch. Material culture recovered from the ditches is limited; but includes a refitting sequence of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age flint and fragments of Beaker pottery have been recovered from the upper ditch fills. Traces of internal banks have been identified in the sections above the ditches and in the backfill of the features in addition to a buried soil underlying the banks. Samples for radiocarbon and Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating have been taken.

ii At the Calverton extension to Passenham Quarry, excavation has focussed on the continuation of the Iron Age pit alignment alongside the discovery and excavation of a substantial stone-built Romano-British 2nd C AD mortuary structure.

iii In Broughton excavation of 5 areas as part of the Brooklands expansion area has revealed early Iron Age to late Romano-British occupation. The early to middle Iron Age settlement comprising 13 huts and enclosure ditches in areas 6 and 7 being of particular interest.

Area 7 Brooklands, Early – Mid Iron Age settlement looking west to Broughton
Gate (© Oxford Archaeology)


1. An English Heritage grant has been awarded to the Council to enable the HER records to be made available online via the national Heritage Gateway web portal before the end of the year.

2. Additionally it is planned to make Monuments, Events and Historic Landscape Characterisation data available via a Historic Environment Theme on the MKi Observatory Mapping module by November 2009. 


1. The Archaeological Officer is organising Milton Keynes Archaeology Day (MKAD). A free event to be held in MK central library on Saturday 14th November 2009, MKAD will include talks on some of the above projects as well as from Paul Blinkhorn of ‘Time Team’ fame. This year there will also be activities for younger people including a themed ‘story time’ in the children’s library.




Manor Farm, Wolverton

View of southern ‘Cursus’ ditch looking west from entrance terminal (© CAU)

‘Cursus’ ditches looking west, offset entrances in middle ground (© CAU)

Passenham Quarry

The mortuary structure during excavation (© Northamptonshire Archaeology)

Cremation Vessel during excavation (© Northamptonshire Archaeology)

Brooklands, Broughton

Area 6 Brooklands, Early – Mid Iron Age settlement looking west to Broughton
Gate (© Oxford Archaeology)