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Evaluation of the Roman Road at Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth

Kemp, S. N. (1995) Evaluation of the Roman Road at Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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As part of the A1 widening programme the Archaeological Field Unit, Cambridgeshire County Council evaluated the course of the Roman road at OS Field No. 8776, Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth. Field evaluation was undertaken in November 1993 to assess the condition of the Roman road and adjacent hollow way identified by Evans and Shotliff (1991). Archaeological work included trenching, earthwork and geophysical survey. The evaluation area lies on the south side of the Norman Cross roundabout and Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth and to the west of A1. Trenches were placed in the southern part of the field just north of Stilton where the Roman road survived as a pronounced agger. Five trenches of up to 20m in length were excavated by machine through the roadway to record construction sequence. Trenches were opened adjacent to the agger with the expectation of finding roadside ditches. Excavation showed the road to consist of two flint cobble layers overlying made-up ground. No roadside ditches were encountered, however, the evaluation area was restricted due to the potential disturbance to grazing land. Remnants of a medieval landscape were also recognised as being of archaeological interest (Evans and Shotliff 1991). These consist of medieval agricultural remains, largely of ridge and furrow , with a hollow way lying on the eastern side of the Roman road. Pelling and Leith (1992)indicated the vulnerability of these remains within the proposals. Quarries lie within or close to the intake of land. Quarrying caused significant landscape alteration during the post-medieval period within the parish of Folksworth. References to the gravel extraction occur in 1550 and again in 1821 and 1844 suggesting a recent date to land alterations which are probably associated with the construction and maintenance of the Great North Road. Ogilbey's map of 1675 indicates that this Ermine Street was certainly a major routeway in the seventeenth century, whilst Taylor (1979) has demonstrated that during the medieval period a more westerly course was preferred. Historical research indicates a single shift of route from the Roman road to the present alignment. This had occurred by 1821, probably during the late seventeenth century when the Great North Road between Alconbury and Peterborough was turnpiked. Geophysical survey recognised a series of high magnetic anomalies which may represent kilns. As these features were not recognisable during the course of the earthwork survey it is probable that they represent archaeological activities prior to the conversion of the open field system to pasture, a land use change which probably dates to at least the seventeenth century. Evaluation of these anomalies is recommended.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: A58, Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth, Cambridgeshire, evaluation, trenching, earthworks, geophysical survey, agger, medieval ridge and furrow, furrow, ridge and furrow, medieval, furlong, hollow way, quarry, Roman road, road, kiln, flint pebbles, enclosure, cobbles, ditch, brick, tile, cambridgeshire, folksworth, agriculture, landscape, layer, Medieval, report A58, a58, report a58, gravel extraction, Great North Road, Ermine Street
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Depositing User: Archives
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 08:28
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2018 08:28
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/4289

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