One of the most significant was that at Undy's Farm
in 1988-89. The area investigated was a 12-hectare site north of Undy's Farm, between the Hungerford to Chilton Foliat Road and the flood plain of the River Kennet.
Evidence was to be found of habitation on the site from
the Mesolithic period (10,000BC), Bronze Age (2100-750BC), and the Medieval period (1100-1500AD).
An initial sample survey by Bryn Walters in 1987 had
shown medieval pottery, layers of medieval flooring and flint work, some dating from 10,000BC.
The exploration was funded by Trencherwood in advance of
the site being developed as Charnham Park Industrial Estate.
The archaeological team was led by Steve Ford (of Thames
Valley Archaeological Services). One area revealed a medieval settlement, with the distinct remains of three buildings. The third building had a chalk floor, hearth and bread or malting
oven, and a two-metre pit, possibly representing a medieval well.
Elsewhere, there was more evidence of medieval buildings
(houses- two made with flint nodules and another constructed of wattle and daub with a rammed chalk floor - and a barn), metalled trackway, metalled yard, and rubbish pits. A hearth
showed up as an area of burnt soil.
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One structure, a
flint-lined pit, baffled the experts. "It was surrounded by gullies and ditches, and was very elaborate," said Mr Ford. There was speculation that it represented the remains of a
windmill, oast house or ice house.
A third site revealed what was possibly Berkshire's only
example of a Bronze Age ceremonial site. The seven metre diameter site had seven pits around a large central hearth. The pits held posts which had burned down and been replaced on several
occasions. In association with this find was a probable fragment of an "Aldbourne cup". These small vessels are normally associated with Early Bronze Age (Wessex II) inhumation burials.
Its discovery here was considered "most unusual".
Beyond these three sites, there was evidence of
Mesolithic (or possibly earlier Neolithic) flintwork
The finds included:
- 66 pieces of
prehistoric flakes or blades
- 336 sherds of Medieval pottery (and one Roman), some probably late Saxon,
- 185 identifiable animal bones (one the tibia from a dog as big as a Great
- much brick and tile
- many metal finds, including a silver (or silver-plate) buckle possibly late Saxon / early Medieval.
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