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Historic England Research Records

Eton Wick Causewayed Enclosure

Hob Uid: 251219
Location :
Windsor and Maidenhead
Eton
Grid Ref : SU9502078100
Summary : The site of an Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure at Eton Wick. It lies on gravels less than 1 km from the present north bank of the Thames. Its identification was confirmed by small-scale excavation and fieldwalking in 1984-5. Air photographs show three concentric arcs of causewayed ditch. A narrow feature between the closely spaced middle and outer ditches may be a palisade. To the north this follows the line of a tangential ditch with at least one causeway, which joins the middle ditch. No complete circuits are visible, at least partly because of alluvium and later activity. The south-west side may have been formed by a stream which runs directly into the Thames. The cropmarks were plotted and interpreted by RCHME in 1996 as part of the Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Project. Assuming a regular shape and a complete enclosure, the area enclosed would have been roughly 4 hectares. The inner curved ditch is 100 metres long; the outer lies 30 to 40 metres east and is 200 metres long. The middle and outer ditches remain unexcavated. Other features on excavation were proved to be Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age in date. The excavations recovered lithic and ceramic material which confirmed the Neolithic date of the causewayed enclosure. Recent research into the radiocarbon dating of causewayed enclosures suggests that the construction of the inner ditch probably occurred in 3520-3455 cal BC.
More information : SU 950781. A Neolithic causewayed enclosure was discovered at Eton Wick following the examination of an aerial photograph in 1976. A trial trench in 1984 discovered a Late Bronze Age - Early Iron Age ditch. A second trench in 1985 revealed a ditch terminal containing neolithic pottery, 950 struck flints, an antler comb and animal bones. (1)

Additional bibliography. (2,3,4)

The following features were mapped from good quality air photographs and small scale excavation (6):-

Possible Neolithic causewayed enclosure, seen as cropmarks. Morphological description: interrupted, parallel linear features, each defined by 2 ditches with a maximum length of 170m. Centred at:-SU 9503 7812. Additional NGRs: SU 9499 7812 (Morph No. TG.545.1.1). The research excavations in 1984-5 on this enclosure produced Ebbsfleet Ware,flints, animal bone and an antler comb. 3 C14 dates (2800 +/- 80 b.c., 2730 +/- 110 b.c., 2730 +/- 50 b.c.).(6)

Possible ditch of unknown date, seen as cropmarks. Morphological description: a discontinuous, single linear feature, defined by 1ditch with a maximum length of 40m. Centred at:-SU 9503 7810. Additional NGRs: SU 9506 7822 (Morph No. TG.545.8.1). This ditch may be the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age ditch excavated in 1984. This description is based on data from the RCHME MORPH2 database. (5)

The Neolithic causewayed enclosure described by the previous authorities was plotted at 1:2,500 scale in September 1996 by Aerial Survey staff of RCHME as part of the Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Project. Only the south-eastern side of the enclosure is visible as a cropmark and this is obscured in places by overlapping features which are probably later in date. The enclosure comprises a curved, segmented ditch, 100m long, centred at SU 9496 7807 and a second segmented ditch, 200m long,
between 30-40m to the east at SU 9503 7809. A very faint cropmark 10m to the east of the outer ditch may be the remains of a third ditch circuit. A continuous ditch lies between the two outer segmented ditches and this has been dated to the later Bronze Age/early Iron Age. (7)

Fieldwalking and trial trenching in 1984-5 confirmed the Neolithic dating of the causewayed enclosure, with other features belonging to the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age and to the Late Iron Age. Artefacts recovered were primarily lithic and ceramic in nature. Three radiocarbon dates from bone samples in Neolithic contexts, when calibrated, have ranges which span the period 3771-3100 Cal BC. (8)

Additional reference. (9)

Recent research into the radiocarbon dating of causewayed enclosures suggests that the construction of the inner ditch probably occurred in 3520-3455 cal BC. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details : Ford, S. A newly-discovered causewayed enclosure at Eton Wick, near Windsor, Berkshire.
Page(s) : 319-20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 52, 1986
Source Number : 2
Source : Council for British Archaeology Group 12: Newsletter
Source details :
Page(s) : 9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Oct-84
Source Number :
Source : Eton Wick causewayed enclosure
Source details :
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Source : Eton Wick causewayed enclosure
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Source Number : 3
Source : Council for British Archaeology Group 12: Newsletter
Source details :
Page(s) : 11
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Oct-85
Source Number : 4
Source : The Berkshire archaeological journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 80
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 72, 1983-5
Source Number : 5
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Moraig Brown/09-MAR-1993/RCHME: Thames Valley NMP
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Neolithic settlement of the Thames Basin
Source details :
Page(s) : 341
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 194
Source Number : 7
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Carolyn Dyer/12-SEP-1996/RCHME: Eton Wick Causewayed Enclosure Project
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 8
Source : The Berkshire archaeological journal
Source details : Ford, S. Excavations at Eton Wick (& fiche)
Page(s) : 27-36
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 74, 1991-3
Source Number : 9
Source : The Creation of Monuments: Neolithic Causewayed Enclosures in the British Isles
Source details :
Page(s) : 8
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Gathering Time: Dating the Early Neolithic Enclosures of Southern Britain and Ireland
Source details : Chapter 8.2 Eton Wick
Page(s) : 393-395
Figs. : 8.4, 8.5
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Neolithic
Display Date : Construction of inner ditch 3520-3455 BC
Monument End Date : -3455
Monument Start Date : -3520
Monument Type : Causewayed Enclosure
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Early Neolithic
Display Date : Early Neolithic
Monument End Date : -3300
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Causewayed Enclosure
Evidence : Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Late Bronze Age
Display Date : Late Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -1200
Monument Type : Linear Feature, Ditch
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Early Iron Age
Display Date : Early Iron Age
Monument End Date : -300
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Linear Feature, Ditch
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Late Iron Age
Display Date : Late Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -100
Monument Type : Ditch, Enclosure
Evidence : Cropmark, Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Period : Early Neolithic
Component Monument Type : Causewayed Enclosure
Object Type : ANIMAL REMAINS, POLISHED AXEHEAD, AXEHEAD, SERRATED IMPLEMENT, SCRAPER (TOOL), LAUREL LEAF, VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery, Flint
Period : Late Bronze Age
Component Monument Type : Linear Feature, Ditch
Object Type : ANIMAL REMAINS, VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery
Period : Early Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Linear Feature, Ditch
Object Type : ANIMAL REMAINS, VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Berkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 208
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : MORPH2
External Cross Reference Number : TG.545.1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : MORPH2
External Cross Reference Number : TG.545.8
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : MORPH2
External Cross Reference Number : NE.42.1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF1009202
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF1059825
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 97 NE 110
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1024060
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ETON WICK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: ETON WICK CAUSEWAYED ENCLOSURE PROJECT
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1996-09-11
End Date : 1996-09-12