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CHER Number:CB15472
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late Iron Age/Conquest period settlement, West Fen Road

Summary

Excavations revealed evidence of a settlement of Late Iron Age-Romano British date. It is likely the site represents a farmstead type site spanning the occupation period, and exploiting the fen edge position

Grid Reference:TL 530 809
Parish:Ely, East Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire
Map:Show this site on map

Monument Type(s):

  • SETTLEMENT (Late Iron Age to 5th century Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Middle Iron Age to Late Iron Age - 400 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Finds:

  • ANIMAL REMAINS
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Middle Bronze Age to Late Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 701 BC)
  • GOUGE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • PLAQUE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • QUERN (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • SHERD (Late Iron Age to 1st century AD - 100 BC to 100 AD)

Associated Events:

  • Evaluation between West Fen Road and Downham Road, Ely, 1999
  • Excavation at Cornwell Field, Ely, 1999-2000 (Ref: WET 99)
  • Excavation at West Fen Road, Ely, 1999-2000
  • Excavation at West Fen Road pipeline and pumping station, 1995
  • Assessment and survey of land between West Fen Road and Downham Road, Ely, 1998 (Ref: EWF III 97)

Full description

1. Evaluation and limited excavation in advance of construction of pipeline and pumping station produced evidence of Late Iron Age settlement, comprising mainly ditches with occasional pits and gullies. The pottery recovered dated to c. AD 1/10 to AD 50/60. The quantity of finds was high and with the recovery of two decorated artefacts was perhaps suggestive of more than a 'normal' agricultural settlement. No house remains were located, but presence of daub, quern stones and oven material suggest settlement and preparation of foodstuffs. A small assemblage of Mid-Late Bronze Age flint work was also recovered, suggesting Bronze Age settlement in the vicinity.
2. Detailed magnetometry survey was carried out to investigate the extent of the Iron Age settlement, indicating that occupation was less extensive than had previously been suggested. Features identified include a curvilinear anomaly representing the enclosure ditch and other ditches corresponding to features identified during the excavation.
3. Trial trenching was carried out over the entire site, revealing a occupation focus of Late Iron Age-Romano British date. A series of ditches, post pits and gullies were recorded, and although no structural elements were positively identified, it is likely the site represents a farmstead type site spanning the occupation period, and exploiting the fen edge position. It may perhaps be part of a larger site which extends to the S of the study area. The area as a whole was found to be wet but no surviving waterlogged levels were found.
4. Excavation of Cornwell field to the south revealed further Iron Age settlement evidence, most probably the southern edge of the settlement identified in previous investigations. The existence of features such as eaves gullies however suggest a better degree of archaeological preservation in this area.

Sources and further reading

---Unpublished report: Mortimer, R., Regan, R. and Lucy, S.. 2002. The Saxon and Medieval Settlement at West Fen Road, Ely: Excavations on the Cotmist, Cornwell and Green Fields. Volume I: text. Cambridge Archaeological Unit Report
<1>Unpublished report: Gibson, D. J.. 1995. Excavations at West Fen Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire. Cambridge Archaeological Unit Report 160
<2>Unpublished report: Hindmarch, E. and Masters, P.. 1998. Archaeological evaluation of land between West Fen Road and Downham Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire. Northamptonshire Archaeology Report
<3>Unpublished report: Meadows, I.. 1999. Archaeological evaluation. Land between Downham Road and West Fen Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire. Northamptonshire Archaeology Report
<4>Unpublished report: Regan, R.. 2001. West Fen Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire: Cornwell field. Assessment Report. Cambridge Archaeological Unit Report 413