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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1075209

Hob Uid: 1075209
Location :
Essex
Chelmsford
Springfield
Grid Ref : TL7351008180
Summary : The site of a probable Neolithic causewayed enclosure at Springfield Lyons, visible as cropmarks and tested by small-scale excavation. The cropmarks were transcribed and interpreted by RCHME in 1997 as part of the Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Project. See the archive report for full details. The existence of the enclosure was realised following excavation of the adjacent Late Bronze Age enclosure (TL 70 NW 86). Excavation in 1990 and 1991 plus air photographs indicate the presence of an arc of pits and/or ditch segments immediately to the east of the Late Bronze Age site, and which appear to cut off a small gravel promontory between two streams which run into the River Chelmer. Trial trenching so far has recovered around 2000 sherds of Mildenhall-style plain bowl sherds, plus Grooved Ware and Beaker sherds from superficial deposits and pits. Much of the Neolithic material appears to have been deliberately placed. Of the two fully-excavated features along the enclosure circuit, one comprised an almost shaft-like pit, and contained deposits of Mildenhall pottery often comprising up to half a complete vessel. One of the pits had a narrow slot associated with Beaker pottery cut into its upper fills. A by-product of the excavation of the Late Bronze Age enclosure is that it is clear that much activity associated with the causewayed enclosure was occurring outside the ditch circuit. It is also intriguing to note that the Late Bronze Age enclosure is itself causewayed, and its principal entrance directly faces the Neolithic enclosure.
More information : An interrupted ditched enclosure was discovered during excavations at Springfield Lyons (TL 736 082) in 1990 by Essex County Council (1a). Associated Neolithic finds suggested that the features formed part of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure. Trenches were excavated across the projected line of the enclosure ditch and two pits were discovered confirming this interpretation. Two post-holes were also discovered to the west of the causewayed enclosure. The excavation evidence suggested that there was no regularity in the size and shape of the pits although most were elongated along the line of the enclosure and were between 7m and 19m long (1b).

A 1:2500 scale, level 3, photogrammetric survey was carried out by the Aerial Survey Section of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) in the vicinity this enclosure in March 1997. The pits were visible on aerial photographs and an inked plan was produced of all archaeological features in the vicinity of the enclosure. A single arc of pits can be seen centred at TL 7357 0818 to the west of the Bronze Age enclosure described in TL 70 NW 86. The arc of pits is 100m long but excavation evidence indicates that the pits extend at least 30m to the north. This line of pits is only partially visible on the photographs and there are many gaps where geological features have masked the overlying archaeology. It is not possible to ascertain the original shape and size of the complete enclosure from the aerial photographic or excavation evidence. (1)

Neolithic features, including a pit, plus artefacts including pottery and flint arrowheads, were discovered during excavation of the adjacent Late Bronze Age enclosure (TL 70 NW 86). (2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Carolyn Dyer/27-MAR-1997/RCHME: Springfield Lyons Enclosures Project
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Source Number : 1a
Source : Essex archaeology and history : transactions of Essex Archaeological Society
Source details : Gilman, P. `Excavations in Essex 1990' (p157)
Page(s) : 148-61
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Vol(s) : 22, 1991
Source Number : 1b
Source : Essex archaeology and history : transactions of Essex Archaeological Society
Source details : Gilman ed, `Archaeology in Essex 1991' (p108)
Page(s) : 98-113
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Vol(s) : 23, 1992
Source Number : 2
Source : The Bronze Age and Saxon settlements at Springfield Lyons, Essex : an interim report
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Vol(s) : no.5
Source Number : 3
Source : The archaeology of Essex : proceedings of the 1993 Writtle conference
Source details : Holgate, R. Essex c. 4000-1500BC.
Page(s) : 15-25
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Source Number : 4
Source : Neolithic landscapes : Neolithic Studies Group seminar papers, 2
Source details : Brown, N. A landscape of two halves: the Neolithic of the Chelmer Valley/Blackwater Estuary, Essex.
Page(s) : 87-98
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 86
Source Number :
Source : Springfield Lyons, Essex/report
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Source : Springfield Lyons, Essex/ink AP transcription
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Causewayed Enclosure, Pit
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Early Bronze Age
Display Date : Beaker pottery
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Ditch
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Period : Neolithic
Component Monument Type : Causewayed Enclosure, Pit
Object Type : VESSEL, POLISHED AXEHEAD
Object Material : Pottery, Flint
Period : Early Bronze Age
Component Monument Type : Ditch
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF1075171
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 70 NW 105
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 879402
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :