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Name:CROPMARKS & ROMAN OCCUPATION, north of Pegsdon Common
HER No.:1841
Type of Record:Monument

Summary

A complex agglomeration of irregular enclosures including a broad-ditched circular enclosure with central feature adjacent to the stream. The enclosures are thought to represent Iron Age, Roman and medieval field systems. Iron Age & Roman sherds, tile and quernstones have been found during fieldwalking. Metal detecting has found a late Iron Age mirror, two silver brooches and two groups of Roman coins, one hoard of 127 gold coins deposited c.80 AD, and a group of silver coins dating from the reign of Hadrian (117-138 AD). The gold coins have been interpreted as evidence of payment to a local client chief or king, and the mirror and brooches are thought to have come from a high-status burial.

Grid Reference:TL 125 312
Parish:SHILLINGTON, CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE, BEDFORDSHIRE
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Full Description

<1> Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs (CUCAP), Cambridge AP: Index, AJI 13-15 (26/6/1964) (Aerial Photograph). SBD10593.

Cropmarks 1½ miles south of Shillington TL 125 313

<2> Helen Porter, Notes, Comments and Observations, December 1974 (Observations and Comments). SBD11071.

Probably held boundaries - one similar ring ditch? Many rectangular enclosures.

<3> Bedfordshire & Luton Archives and Records Service Documents, BLARS: L33/13/4, pre-enclosure map, 1777; MA43, Enclosure map, c.1816 (Unpublished document). SBD10551.

Area shown as part of Aspley End Common or Cow Common on pre-enclosure and enclosure maps.

<4> Rob White, Comments (Observations and Comments). SBD11101.

Mr Franklin informed that when they first ploughed the field (20 years ago?) it had not previously been ploughed. Various level differences and soil colours were exposed as well as at least 2 puddingstone rotary quernstones. One of these was probably removed to Walnut Tree Farm, Pirton but has since been lost. Field is still in arable use - slight level changes and soil colour differences being apparent. Little pot observed in plough surface during rapid traverse of field on 6/10/1978, 2 sherds of Samina ware being noted in the area of the circular cropmark in the eastern part of the field. Cf. SMR 9298 Stream straightened on enclosure to east of cropmark complex.

<5> Angela Simco, 1984, Survey of Bedfordshire: Roman Period, p. 117 (Bibliographic reference). SBD10650.

Two quernstones were found in the 1950s when a field was turned from pasture to arable, and some Samian pottery was collected from the surface in 1978. Enclosure cropmarks have also been recorded.

<6> Stephen R. Coleman, Comments, December 1997 (Observations and Comments). SBD10779.

Some information from Ren Hudspith with a letter of 3/13/97 reporting finds of late Iron Age and Roman sherds, stone and tile fragments covering large area. (Includes samian). See attached sketch map from independent fieldwalking.

<7> North Herts District Council Museum Service, Press releases, Feb 1999 (Unpublished document). SBD11464.

A hoard of 123 First century AD Roman Gold coins found by metal detectorists on farmland in south Bedfordshire. This is the largest hoard of first century Roman gold coins from Britain or anywhere else in the Roman Empire. The Bedfordshire hoard contained coins of the emporers Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and Vespasian, amongst others. Numerous design types are represented showing emperors and deities. Many of the coins are in near mint condition and much may be learnt from them.

<8> British Archaeology, No 48, Oct 1999, p. 5; Roman gold mixed with native religion (Article in serial). SBD11465.

The largest 1st century gold coin hoard in Britain, found recently by two metal detectorists in Bedfordshire, has shed new light on the continuation of Iron Age religious practices in early Roman Britain. The hoard of 123 gold coins, which received some publicity when it was acquired by Luton Museum last month, is one of only a handful of large early Imperial Roman hoards known anywhere in Europe. The coins, or aureii, were issued by the emperors Tiberius, Caludius, Bero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian, and represent a huge sum of money. Many are in mint condition. A smaller hoard of seven silver denarii, including Republican and early Imperial issues (the latest being one of Vespasian), was found nearby. Both hoards are thought to have been buried in the 80s AD.
According to Robin Holgate of Luton Museum, the hoards bear a striking resemblance to late Iron Age votive deposits of gold and silver items, such as those from Essenden in Hertfordshire, Snettisham in Norfolk and elsewhere. Metalwork hoards of this date are now typically interpreted as religious deposits - rather than 'burials for safekeeping' - and in this instance may indicate the site of an important Roman temple or cult site.
The findspot lies close to a spring and a prehistoric barrow, and scattered finds from surrounding fields include quantities of Roman pottery and tile, as well as the handle of a Roman knife, and a mortar for grinding cosmetics or incense. Rectilinear cropmarks in the field where the coins were found may suggest a temple precinct, although they remain undated.
The presence of the barrow is regarded as significant, following a number of recent discoveries of Roman (nad later) religious monuments (see BA, November 1997). Other sites where Iron Age votive practice appears to have continued in the Roman period include the cult site ar Essenden, the Romano-Celtic temple at Harlow in Essex, and at Bath.
The hoards were declared treasure by a coronor's court earlier this year and valued at £200,000. They will go on display at Luton Museum early next year.

<9> Angela Simco, Comments, April 2000 (Observations and Comments). SBD10509.

Cropmarks show a complex agglomeration of irregular enclosures, with a broad-ditched circular enclosure with central (?) pit adjacent to stream.

<10> DCMS, Treasure Annual Report, 1998-1999, pp. 109-111 (Article in serial). SBD11466.

Deposited: about AD 79
Date of discovery: 123 coins found in October 1998; 4 found in September 1999
Description: 127 gold aurei:
Tiberius (AD 14-37)
Claudius I (AD 41-54)
Nero Caesar (AD 54-68
Galba (AD 68-69)
Otho (AD 69)
Vitellius (AD 69)
Vespasian (AD 69-79)
Titus Caesar
Domitian Caesar

Note: The relationship between this hoard and the hoard of denarii found by the same people in the same place and on the same occasion is not certain. The denarii may comprise a smaller number of deposits rather than one hoard
Deposition: Luton Museum

Deposited: About AD 128
Date of discovery: 7 coins found in October 1998 and a further 11 in September 1999
Description: 18 silver denarii
Republic:
Cn Domit (about 128 BC)
M Porc Laeca (about 125 BC)
C Vibius C f Pansa (about 90 BC)
Q Anto Balb Pr (about 83 BC)
C Nae Balb (about 79 BC)
Mn Aquillius Mn f Mn III Vir (about 71 BC)
T Carisius III VIR (about 46 BC)
C Considius Paetus (about 46 BC)
Caesar (about 49-48 BC)
Mark Anthony (32 - 31 BC)

Imperial:
Augustus (27 BC - AD 14)
Nero (AD 54 - 68)
Vitellius (AD 69)
Vespasian (AD 69 - 79)
Hadrian (AD 117 - 138)

<11> DCMS, Treasure Annual Report, 2000, pp. 15-16 (Article in serial). SBD11466.

Iron Age silver brooch, bronze mirror and pottery fragments. All these objects were found in close proximity and probably came from a disturbed grave. Cremation burials became a common way to bury the dead in parts of south-east England in the 1st century BC. Msot graves contain pottery vessels used for eating or drinking. The richer graves sometimes contain decorated bronze mirrors. Silver brooches are very rare finds from Iron Age Britain, and only about nine or ten others are known. They all appear to have come from burials and are very similar in shape to this brooch. Dated to the middle of the 1st century BC (the archaeological period known as La Tène D2), these safety-pin type brooches all have a decorative collar or boss in the middle of the bow, and are often called Knotenfibula. The Shillington brooch is very similar to the two pairs of silver brooches found at Great Chesterford, Essex.
The mirror is one of the finest exapmles of a decorated Iron Age bronze mirror found in recent years. It is constructed from three parts; the circular mirror plate, the handle and decorative ring on the bottom of the mirror plate near the handle. The back of the mirror was decorated with an abstract curving La Tène or 'Early Celtic' design. The design consists of repeated circular ovals and arches of similar sizes in-filled with a fine basket-weave of engraved or chased marks to make the design stand out. The front of the mirror would be plain and polished for seeing the reflection in. This mirror is well preserved, except for the major tear in the top made when it was found. Decorated Bronze mirrors are a uniquely British object. About thirty examples are known. Many are stray finds, but those found in archaeological investigations usually come from burials.
Decorated Bronze mirrors were made and used for at least 150 years from about 100 BC to AD 50. This is one of the earliest dating mirrors so far found.

<12> Albion Archaeology, 2003, Land north of Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington; Aerial photograph analysis and fieldwalking, 2003/6, pp. 8-12 (Archaeological Report). SBD12624.

All aerial photographs of the Study Area were consulted. Those taken before the 1950s show the land to be under pasture, while those taken after 1956 show the land under arable cultivation. Of the photographs consulted, only those taken in the summer of 1964 show the cropmark complexes described below:
- possible barrows: two putative long barrows and two putative round barrows

- large, linear, landscape boundaries such as field, stock, trackway or settlement enclosures:
Complex A forms a series of three linear boundaries, running to the south from what appears to be a double ditched trackway, itself aligned on an east-west axis. These boundaries are bisected, halfway down their observed length, by an east-west running ditch. The central area, defined by these boundaries, is sub-divided into three linear strips, of approximately the same area, the central strip being slightly larger. These boundaries seem to show two superimposed field systems, possibly Roman fields, superimposed onto a less enclosed Iron Age landscape, though they may also represent medieval strip fields.
Complex B, to the north & northwest of Complex A, is characterised by the northern boundary o fthe possible trackway which bounds Complex A. The main landscape elements represented by Complex B appear to fall into two categories: Field systems associated with and a continuation of, the field system represented in Complex A, probably of Roman date; A sub-rectangular enclosure at the northern edge of this complex, which appears to overlie to round barrow to the east and is itself overlain, to the east, by a ditch representing a continuation of Complex A to the south. Given this speculative chronology, it is likely that this large enclosure is Iron Age (800BC - AD 43) in date and may form a low lying, possibly palisaded, enclosure.
Complex C, to the east of Complex B, is characterised by a series of discontinuous boundaries, which seem to form a series of enclosures to the west and east of a possible trackway heading from the north towards the long barrow. A rectangular ditched enclosure, also putatively described as a barrow, seems to overlie the southeastern extent of the long barrow. A further series of linear, rectangular enclosures lie to the west and appear to articulate the putative trackway, which enters this complex from the north. At the northwest extreme of Complex C, another track or droveway appears to lead up to the large enclosure of complex B from the south, the linear boundaries of which seem to respect this enclosure.
Complex D, to the north of Complex C, is bounded to the west by the southern terminus of the trackway present in Complex C and to the east by the modern line of the watercourse. As with Complex C, the eastern edge of Complex D comprises a series of discontinuous boundaries which are, nevertheless, more coherent than those immediately to the south. These discontinuous boundaries seem to both respect and form the eastern extent of the eastern trackway, which appears to diverge into two separate paths, one to the southwest and one to the southeast. A further, east-west aligned offshoot of the western trackway seems to define the southern extent of a large enclosure, which extends towards Complex E to the north. This complex would appear to represent two, broadly contemporary, enclosed fields divided by one or two phases of trackway. A further possible east-west aligned trackway appears to bound the most western of the enclosures to the south. The eastern enclosure appears to be partially subdivided. These enclosures may represent outfields, accessed by a trackway, to a settlement concentration to the north.
Complex E lies immediately to the north of Complex D and represents continuation of it. It is characterised to the northwest by the northern limit of a ditched enclosure. The latter is defined to the north by an east-west aligned trackway, which seems to be an extension of the trackway that divides the western enclosure in Complex D form the eastern enclosure. However, to the north of this western enclosure the trackway seems, at one time, to either have bene superimposed on, or blocked by, a further north-south aligned linear boundary. The large western enclosure is also subdivided by two east-west orientatted boundaries, which may represent sub-divisions corresponding with settlement enclosure. This enclosure is also bounded to the west by a north-south aligned linear boundary, which continues to the borth beyond the Studay Area in to Complex G.
To the east a further enclosure, which like the enclosure to the west is also subdivided by an east-west aligned boundary, seems to have been superimposed on anearlier, discontinuous, 'L'-shaped boundary. At the northeast corner of Complex E a wide and possibly deep cropmark is aligned NNW-SSE. This is related to an elliptical section of cropmark, which forms the northwest corner of an enclsoure, the northern extent of which appears to extend into the southeast corner of Complex G. At least two phases of enclosure are present in Complex E most visible in the articulation of the trackway, to the north of the area and the superimposition of the most eastern of the large enclosures onto possibly earluer, discontinuous enclosures.
Complex F lies immediately to ther west of Complex E and is separated from it by the northern extent of a possible trackway, described in Complexes B and D. This complex seems to be defined by three separate landscape elements: The large ditch contiguous with and part of the large re-cut enclosure described in Complex B; Broadly linear boundaries, which seem to curve from the west to the northeast; Linear boundaries aligned on a southwest - northeast axis, which articulate with a rectilinear enclosure clearly visible in the northwest corner of the complex. The multiphase nature of the site is attested, once again, by the cropmarks present in Complex F. The large, sub-rectangular enclosure, which overlay the round barrow seems to have been overlain by the rectilinear enclosures and associated cropmarks which may be contemporary with the rectilinear enclosures of Complexes A, D and E.
- possible structure enclosures, such as house or small stock enclosures
- possible pits
- possibe medieval and later field boundaries and land drain runs.

<13> Albion Archaeology, 2003, Land north of Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington; Aerial photograph analysis and fieldwalking, 2003/16-22 (Archaeological Report). SBD12624.

Field artefact collection recovered a total of 1244 sherds of pottery representing 1232 vessels, the majority from the Roman period, although the Late Iron Age was also well represented. 160 fragments of ceramic building material were recovered, fifteen of which were Roman, although sixty-seven fragments could not be dated at all, the majority of the brick and flat roof tile fragments were of the late medieval period. One hundred and thirty five other artefacts were recorded, including quern fargments, remains of at least one glass bottle dated to the Roman period, post medieval clay popes, horseshoes and slag.

<14> Archaeological Services WYAS, 2002, Land north of Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington; Geophysical Survey (Archaeological Report). SBD12625.

The survey has been largely unsuccessful in identifying anomalies correlating with the cropmarks, a single linear anomaly defining the northern edge of an enclosure being the sole exception. Other spatailly disparate discrete, linear and curvilinear areas of enhancement have also been identified. It is thought that these anomalies and the surrounding area where the background magnetic response is enhanced, could locate areas of archaeological activity despite the lack of correlation with any cropmarks. The overall lack of success in identifying more coherent anomalies indicative of occupation or settlement is attributed to either possible truncation by modern deep ploughing or the lack of magnetic contrast between the fill of any features and the surrounding matrix in an area of deep soils.

<15> Manshead Archaeological Society of Dunstable, The Manshead Magazine/Journal of the Manshead Archaeological Society of Dunstable, Vol 38, 1998, pp. 24-26 (Article in serial). SBD10788.

Late Iron Age sheds were found in large quantities with some stone scatters, pot boilers and burnt clay fragments overalpping a large Romano-British site to the north of Common Farm. Sherds (including samian) and tile fragments were found scattered (with stones) over several hundred square metres, suggeting areas of domestic settlement and cultivation.

<16> Council for British Archaeology, South Midlands Archaeology, Vol 29, 1999, pp. 11-12 (Serial). SBD10576.

Details as per Ref 15

<17> North Herts District Council Museum Service (Unpublished document). SBD11464.

Illustrations of finds

<18> Correspondence, Email from R Holgate; 10/9/1999 (Unpublished document). SBD10802.

The largest 1st century gold hoard from Britain, and one of only a handful of large early Imperial Roman hoards known in the Empire, has been found by two metal detectorists in Shillington. The hoard contained 123 aureii, many of which are in mint condition, issued by the emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian. A smaller hoard of 7 silver items as votive deposits, as at Snettisham in Norfolk and at Essenden in Hertfordshire. The site where they were deposited may thus have been some form of cult site.
The hoards were declared treasue under the Treasure Act 1996 earlier this year.

<19> The Comet, Shane celebrates £30.000 treasure trove; 20 Sept 2001 (Newspaper Article). SBD11204.

The 2.000 year old grave of a Celtic VIP is set to net a Stotfold treasure hunter a small fortune. A mirror, silver brooch and pottery unearthed by SP and a friend were undoubtedly buried along with the cremated remains of dignitary several decades before the birth of Christ, say experts….
Dr J Hill, curator of the Iron Age Collection at the British Museum said the mirror was one of the finest examples he had ever seen. "The Celtic detail is fantastic and in exceptional condition" he said. "You can see the metal still shines. It must have belonged to a pretty important person and is one the the earliest ever found, probably dating back between 75 and 25 BC."

<20> Council for British Archaeology, 2002-2003, Annual Report, p 3 (Article in serial). SBD13807.

Colour image of the mirror

<21> Dr J D Hill, Curator of the British Iron Age Collections, 2000, Report to H.M. Coronor on a potential Treasure find: Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington, Bedfordshire (Unpublished document). SBD13808.

Two metal objects and thirty pieces of pottery were found while metal detecting at Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington on 12th November 2000. Because one of the objects was an ancient silver brooch, it and the associated objects were reported as potential treasure items to North Hertfordshire Museum Service (NHMS ref 2349).
The objects were all found in very close proximity to each other. The items are described as having been found in the same context under the plough soil. The exact location of the find spot was recorded by Mr G Burleigh of North Hertfordshire Museum Service, but it has not yet been possible to archaeologically investigate the location.
The find was reported to the coroner on 28 November and 7 December 2000. The British Museum was notified on 11 December 2000.
Only one item, the brooch, is made with a silver or gold content of more than 10% by weight. However, the mirror and the pottery fragments can be shown to have been found in close proximity to the brooch. It will be argued below that they probably come from the same grave in which the brooch was buried. Under the definitions of the 1996 Treasure Act the mirror and the pot sherds can be considered as objects found in association with objects that are treasure.

Summary of local archaeology: This find was made in a large field that is well known for its Roman and other finds. The area around the find spot contains much Roman pottery in the ploughsoil suggesting it is the location of a Roman settlement. Aerial photographs show traces of fields, paddocks or settlements over a large part of the field. One or two hoards of Roman gold coins were found 150m from the find spot in 1998 and 1999. This hoard or hoards of 127 gold aurei and 18 silver denarii was discovered by the same finders as this brooch and mirror (Treasure Annual Report 1998-1999; No 283 & 284). The hoard was declared treasure and the coins acquired by Luton Museum. The evidence suggests that this field was the focus of a Roman settlement, and this new find suggests this settlement has possible origins in the late pre-Roman Late Iron Age.

The objects: The objects found consist of: a silver brooch, a bronze mirror and 30 pot sherds.

The silver brooch: Most of a single silver Knotenfibula type brooch was found in two pieces. The two pieces appear to have been repaired with glue, but are now unstuck. The patina on part of the catch plate has been scratched or cleaned away to reveal the underlying silver metal. This is a fibula or safety pin type of brooch, as were most Iron Age brooches. The largest piece consists of the spring, most of the bow and pin. A smaller separate fragment is the end of the bow that has broken off from the end of the main part of the brooch bow. The catch plate, which held the end of the pin when it was worn, is missing. The original brooch was 72mm long. It was made from a single piece of silver cast in a mould. The pin was then twisted around four times to make the spring and bent back to join the catch plate at the end of the bow. At its highest point, close to the end of the brooch with the spring, there is a circular boss between two ring mouldings. This boss is the defining feature for Knotenfibula type brooches. The original catch plate, which held the pin in place when worn was decorated with two large perforations to produce a delicate decorative shape. The brooch was originally one of a pair of brooches held together by a chain. A large silver ring (diameter 19mm) passes through the spring at the front of the brooch. On this ring is fixed a silver globular pendent with rings at each end for holding attaching a silver (?) chain. The other brooch and the chain have not been found. They may still be at the find spot, or this brooch may have lost its pair some time before it was buried.
Non-destructive X-ray flourescence analysis of the surface of the brooch conducted in the Department of Scientific Research of the British Museum gave the following results: 85% silver.
Knotenfibula brooches (or Feugere type 8a/Almgren type 65 in the most common typologies used for describing Late Iron Age brooches) are known from archaeological sites across southern Britain, France, western Germany and the Low Countries. They are usually made from Bronze and less commonly from iron. However, there are a small number of knotenfibula brooches that are made from silver, and an even smaller number made from gold. Silver Knotenfibula brooches were usually made as chained pairs. A pair of very similar silver brooches to this one were found at Great Chesterfield in northeast Essex, and five were found in the La Catillon hoard on Jersey. Very similar brooches made from bronze have been found in graves at Folkestone and Faversham in Kent. In southern Britain, this type of brooch is a common find in cremation burials. Knotenfibula brooches can be quite closely dated. This type of brooch was in fashion between about 70 and 20 BC (the archaeological period called La Tene D2).

The Bronze Decorated Mirror: Found with the silver brooch was a fine example of a British bronze decorated Iron Age mirror. This is a well known type of Iton Age object because of the often elaborate abstract Celtic Art (more properly known as La Tene) patterns which decorate the back of the mirror. The front of the mirror would be plain and polished (for seeing the reflection in), the back decorated.
This mirror is well preserved, except for the major tare in the top of the mirror made when it was found. The front of the mirror (the undecorated face) was probably lying upper most in the ground, as there are recent scratch marks at right angles to each other on its face. Agricultural machinery or, more likely, a spade might have caused these. The mirror is constructed from three parts; the circular mirror plate, the handle and decorative ring on the bottom of the mirror plate near the handle. The plate is circular with a diameter of 19.8 to 19.9mm. Unusually, the bottom of the plate has a small arch cut out of the plate to allow the handle to be attached. The handle, like the plate, is made of bronze and was cast as a single piece. It is a simple loop type of handle 13.2mm long and 5.95mm wide across the loop of the handle. The handle is plain, except for fine molded lines on both the buffer shaped ends ('splays') of the handle and the collar across the waist. The handle is held to the mirror plate with two bronze rivets.
The front of the mirror is plain except for a thin band of decoration running around the outer edge of the plate. This is repeated around the edge of the back of the mirror. This border consists of fine engraved or chased marks 0.9 to 1.1mm long and 0.1mm apart made between two faint engraved lines that marked the outer and inner limits of the border. The decoration on the back of the mirror is well preserved, except in the area of the tare at the top of the plate. It consists of a swirling Early Celtic design (more correctly described as a La Tene design). The design consists of repeat circular, ovals and arches of similar sizes in filled with a fine basket weave of engraved or chased marks to make the design stand out. The design is not perfectly symmetrical as on many other mirrors. A unique feature of this mirror is the repeated use of small circles, 8-11mm in diameter, containing a triskele design. This design is also found inside the bronze ring that is held between the outspread arms of the handle on both sides of the plate.
About 30 decorated bronze mirrors are known. Many are stray finds, but those found in archaeological investigations usually come from burials. Only one complete mirror has been found during archaeological investigations of a settlement. A number of decorated mirrors have been found in south east England, including examples from Aston (Herts), Dorton (Bucks), Chilham (Kent), Great Chesterford (Essex), Colchester (Essex) and Old Warden (Beds). Decorated bronze mirrors were made and used for at least 150 years from about 100 BC to AD 50. The silver brooch it was found with can more closely date the mirror from Shillington. It is an early mirror, and shares many details in its design with other early mirrors such as Chilham (Kent), Portland (Dorset), St Keverne (Cornwall) and the Mayer mirror (find spot unknown).

The Pottery: Thirty pieces of pottery were found in the surrounding soil when the brooch and mirror were found. These include 28 pieces from the lower parts of 3 large jars. One of the jars was a pedestal urn, a vessel with a pronounced flaring base. The other vessels were tall, flat based, jars. The pedestal urn and one of the jars were made from grog-tempered clays: that is clay with added ground up pottery. This is a very common type of fabric used to make pottery in Hertfordshire and southern Bedfordshire from c75BC to AD43. The other jar was made from clay containing a large amount of fossil shells. Pedestal urns are a very common type of pottery that was put in graves in southeast England dating between c 75 and 20 BC. Tall flat-based jars would also not be out of place in a burial. The other small worn sherds are probably of a later date, being detritus from the Roman settlement in the same area that has survived in the soil.

Discussion: All these items were found in very close proximity and were not disturbed by agricultural activites or spread over a large area. It is extremely likely that they came from a single burial. Complete mirrors are only found in cremation graves in southeast England. These cremation graves are well known from many archaeological investigations. They usually contain pots, especially pedestal urns made of grog-tempered pottery. Brooches, sometimes-chained pairs, are also common finds from this type of burial. The combination of a brooch, mirror, and part of a pedestal urn and other vessels, points strongly that these objects all came from a single burial.
Silver brooches and mirrors are rare finds. They suggest the person buried in this grave was a person of some importance The person died some time between c70 and 20 BC, the Late Iron Age. This was a time of major social and economic change in southeast England and also saw Julius Caesar's two invations of the area in 55 and 54 BC. The last of these campaigns reached as far as somewhere in Hertfordshire or the surrounding area.

Conclusion: A silver brooch, bronze decorated mirror and fragments of pottery were all found in very close prosimity 'under the plough soil'. It is extremely likely that all of the objects, except 2 small sherds of pottery came from a single cremation burial made some time between c2100 and 2000 years ago. Because the brooch is made from 85% silver it is an item of treasure. As the brooch was found together with the mirror and pottery, all of which are extremely likely to have been placed in the same grave, the other items can be considered as objects found in association wth objects that are treasure.

<22> Unknown, Unknown source (Map). SBD12407.

Hand annotated map detailing probable and possible archaoelogy - source unknown

<23> English Heritage, General correspondence (Unpublished document). SBD11860.

Correspondence re proposals to try and protect the site.

<24> NMR/AMIE, HE NRHE Monument Inventory, 1510339 (Index). SBD12367.

Multi-phased settlement extending over circa 1 square kilometre of late Iron Age and Romano-British date. At least four barrows have been identified, as well as a large ditched sub-rectangular enclosure, field boundaries, and pennanular ditches , possibly for round houses. Following the discovery of a Roman hoard in 1998, further detection found an Iron Age mirror made of bronze and a 1st century BCE silver brooch, both of which came from a disturbed cremation burial pit.

<25> The Society of Antiquaries of London, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London, pp. 109-140 (Serial). SBD10753.

[No info]

<26> NMR/AMIE, HE NRHE Monument Inventory, 1302313 (Index). SBD12367.

A Roman coin hoard was found in Shillington in 1999. It consisted of 127 gold aurei ranging in date from Tiberius (AD 36-7) to Vespasian (AD 78-9); the hoard was probably deposited in the early 80s AD. 18 silver denarii were also recovered from the site ranging in date from ?31 BC to Hadrian (AD 117-38); some of these may also have formed part of a hoard deposited around the same time with a few later coins. There is also evidence for votive offerings. The coins are now in Luton Museum.

Protected Status:

  • Archaeological Notification Area
  • Archaeological Notification Area (AI) HER1841: CROPMARKS & ROMAN OCCUPATION, north of Pegsdon Common
  • SHINE: Complex cropmark enclosures site north of Pegsdon Common Farm (Iron Age/Roman)

Monument Type(s):

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Late Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Late Bronze Age to Roman/Romano-British - 800 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FBD7047 - NAIL (Unknown date)
  • FBD7048 - SLAG (Unknown date)
  • FBD7033 - BLADE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FBD7034 - FLAKE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FBD7028 - SHERD (Late Bronze Age to Middle Iron Age - 1000 BC to 101 BC)
  • FBD6876 - COIN (Middle Iron Age to 2nd Century - 128 BC to 138 AD)
  • FBD6878 - BROOCH (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • FBD6877 - MIRROR (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • FBD907 - QUERN (Late Iron Age to Roman/Romano-British - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • FBD6875 - SHERD (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • FBD4043 - COIN (1st Century - 14 AD to 79 AD)
  • FBD13048 - COIN HOARD (1st Century - 14 AD to 79 AD)
  • FBD7039 - GOAD (Roman/Romano-British to Medieval - 43 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FBD15781 - HOARD (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FBD15783 - HOARD (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FBD7041 - PAPERCLIP (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FBD7029 - SHERD (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FBD7040 - SPINDLE WHORL (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FBD7032 - TEGULA (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FBD6874 - VESSEL (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FBD7036 - CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FBD7030 - SHERD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FBD7035 - HORSESHOE (15th Century to 19th Century - 1400 AD to 1899 AD)
  • FBD7044 - BUTTON AND LOOP FASTENER (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FBD7043 - CROTAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FBD7042 - PRONG (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FBD7031 - SHERD (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FBD7045 - SPOON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FBD7046 - THIMBLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FBD7038 - VESSEL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FBD7037 - WHETSTONE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Events

  • EBD218 - Land north of Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington: Aerial photograph analysis and fieldwalking (Ref: 2003/6)
  • EBD416 - Land north of Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington, Bedfordshire: Geophysical Survey (Ref: 1062)
  • EBD1534 - Fieldwalking in Pegsdon & Shillington, 1997

Sources and Further Reading

[1]SBD10593 - Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs (CUCAP). Cambridge AP: Index. AJI 13-15 (26/6/1964).
[2]SBD11071 - Observations and Comments: Helen Porter. Notes, Comments and Observations. December 1974.
[3]SBD10551 - Unpublished document: Bedfordshire & Luton Archives and Records Service Documents. BLARS: L33/13/4, pre-enclosure map, 1777; MA43, Enclosure map, c.1816.
[4]SBD11101 - Observations and Comments: Rob White. Comments.
[5]SBD10650 - Bibliographic reference: Angela Simco. 1984. Survey of Bedfordshire: Roman Period. p. 117.
[6]SBD10779 - Observations and Comments: Stephen R. Coleman. Comments. December 1997.
[7]SBD11464 - Unpublished document: North Herts District Council Museum Service. Press releases, Feb 1999.
[8]SBD11465 - Article in serial: British Archaeology. No 48, Oct 1999, p. 5; Roman gold mixed with native religion.
[9]SBD10509 - Observations and Comments: Angela Simco. Comments. April 2000.
[10]SBD11466 - Article in serial: DCMS. Treasure Annual Report. 1998-1999, pp. 109-111.
[11]SBD11466 - Article in serial: DCMS. Treasure Annual Report. 2000, pp. 15-16.
[12]SBD12624 - Archaeological Report: Albion Archaeology. 2003. Land north of Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington; Aerial photograph analysis and fieldwalking. 2003/6. 2003/6, pp. 8-12.
[13]SBD12624 - Archaeological Report: Albion Archaeology. 2003. Land north of Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington; Aerial photograph analysis and fieldwalking. 2003/6. 2003/16-22.
[14]SBD12625 - Archaeological Report: Archaeological Services WYAS. 2002. Land north of Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington; Geophysical Survey. 1062.
[15]SBD10788 - Article in serial: Manshead Archaeological Society of Dunstable. The Manshead Magazine/Journal of the Manshead Archaeological Society of Dunstable. Vol 38, 1998, pp. 24-26.
[16]SBD10576 - Serial: Council for British Archaeology. South Midlands Archaeology. Vol 29, 1999, pp. 11-12.
[17]SBD11464 - Unpublished document: North Herts District Council Museum Service.
[18]SBD10802 - Unpublished document: Correspondence. Email from R Holgate; 10/9/1999.
[19]SBD11204 - Newspaper Article: The Comet. Shane celebrates £30.000 treasure trove; 20 Sept 2001.
[20]SBD13807 - Article in serial: Council for British Archaeology. 2002-2003. Annual Report. No 51. p 3.
[21]SBD13808 - Unpublished document: Dr J D Hill, Curator of the British Iron Age Collections. 2000. Report to H.M. Coronor on a potential Treasure find: Pegsdon Common Farm, Shillington, Bedfordshire.
[22]SBD12407 - Map: Unknown. Unknown source. Map or Plan.
[23]SBD11860 - Unpublished document: English Heritage. General correspondence.
[24]SBD12367 - Index: NMR/AMIE. HE NRHE Monument Inventory. 1510339.
[25]SBD10753 - Serial: The Society of Antiquaries of London. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London. pp. 109-140.
[26]SBD12367 - Index: NMR/AMIE. HE NRHE Monument Inventory. 1302313.