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HER Number: 28739
Record Type: Monument
Name: Middle to Late Iron Age clothes line settlement in two clusters

Grid Reference: SP 454 300

Monument Type(s):


Site comprises a clothes-line settlement, with two domestic enclosures, one lying largely outside the development area, linked by a linear ditch with several roundhouse ring ditches and small sub-enclosures lying along the southern side of the linear ditch. The polygonal enclosure to the east contains two domestic roundhouse ring ditches and further sub-enclosures, with either an annexe or remnants of an earlier enclosure to the south-west. Also remnants of ridge and furrow.

Associated Monuments

  • None
  • Associated Finds:

  • FOX12361 - SHERD (Middle Iron Age to Late Iron Age - 400 BC to 42 AD)
  • Description

    1) The trenches that were excavated confirmed the geophysical survey results. The pottery assemblage is small and contains little diagnostic material, but two rims with high shoulders suggest a date in the late middle Iron Age, while the frequent presence of sherds probably from globular bowls with grey-black surfaces and smoothed or burnished surfaces, suggests a late Iron Age date, 1st century BC. It is suggested, therefore, that the site may have begun in the 2nd century BC and was certainly in use in the 1st century BC.

    The geophysical survey has defined the broad structure of the Iron Age settlement, which can be described as a clothes-line enclosure system, with both major enclosure and minor sub-enclosures all lying along the southern margins of a linear land boundary that runs for at least 210m, appearing to link two substantial domestic enclosures.

    The eastern enclosure is a four-sided polygon, covering approximately 0.2ha, roughly 53m by 45m. It has an eastern entrance and the enhanced magnetic response along this arm of the enclosure indicates that there was preferential dumping of domestic and perhaps industrial waste into both this length of ditch and the length of enclosure ditch to the south-west. The south-western length of ditch lies close to a figure of 8-shaped anomaly, either a pair of enclosures or a D-shaped enclosure with a central division, which also has an enhanced magnetic response consistent with the dumping of burnt debris. There is a domestic roundhouse ring ditch system with an eastern entrance in the centre of the enclosure, facing the enclosure entrance, and another of similar size in the south-east corner of the enclosure. The internal features recorded within the central roundhouse may indicate the survival of a wall trench.

    This enclosure appears to be a typical enclosed family farmstead of the later Iron Age, with a central domestic roundhouse surrounded by several ancillary structures and enclosures.

    There may have been a stock enclosure in the north-west corner, unless this ditch links with other ditches with a lower magnetic response to the west and south-west, which may be either contemporary settlement containing less debris giving a magnetic response, or part of an earlier phase of settlement partly overlain by the polygonal enclosure.

    The other possible substantial domestic enclosure lies at the westernmost edge of the development area, with only the eastern ditch fully within the development area, with a
    possible sub-enclosure or roundhouse ring gully in its north-eastern corner. These ditches, and also those of the northern ring ditch of a pair of probably roundhouse ring ditches to the immediate east of the enclosure, have an enhanced magnetic response. To the east of this enclosure, there is a series of roundhouses ring ditches and small square to sub-square enclosures that lie adjacent to or a little south of the linear boundary ditch linking the two enclosures, including a further area with a higher magnetic response.

    See report for additional detail.

    <1> MOLA Northampton, 2018, Archaeological evaluation on land at Hill Farm, Duns Tew, Oxfordshire, May 2016 (Digital archive). SOX5861.


    <1>MOLA Northampton. 2018. Archaeological evaluation on land at Hill Farm, Duns Tew, Oxfordshire, May 2016. [Digital archive / SOX5861]