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Further Archaeological Evaluations at Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth

Sutherland, T. L. (1995) Further Archaeological Evaluations at Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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In March 1995 an archaeological evaluation was carried out within OS Field 8776 (TL 1593/9059), Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth in advance of the A1 road widening. Work was undertaken by the Archaeological Field Unit, Cambridgeshire County Council. The site lies to the south-west of the Norman Cross roundabout on the A1, north of Stilton. Geophysical survey detected a high magnetic anomaly which was interpreted as a possible kiln (Geophysical Surveys of Bradford 1994). One 30 metre long trench and two test pits were excavated in the south-east corner of the field, within the road widening corridor to assess the archaeological potential of this magnetic anomaly. The trench was placed in the position of the anomaly, but revealed no trace of archaeology. The area was re-scanned with a fluxgate magnetometer in order to more accurately fix the location of this anomaly and a test-pit excavated to define the nature of this feature. Several artefacts but no archaeological remains, were encountered. The site is located on land which has surviving evidence of extensive 'Ridge and Furrow' cultivation. The topsoil and subsoil produced sparse amounts of post-medieval, glazed cream ware and redware pottery, brick fragments, small fractured parts of bones from medium to large sized animals, a small quantity of metal working debris, and most significantly a large piece of iron slag. The slag has a distinctly globular surface which is clearly the result of prills of slag cooling on a part of one side. This is indicative of slag, formed below the tuyere, or air inlet, in a smithing hearth. The location of this distinctive smithing hearth bloom, in this area, suggests that this anomaly may mark the remains of a small scale smithing hearth, alternatively, the slag may represent a coincidental intrusion onto the site from elsewhere. Archaeological soil samples were analysed from the test pit located over the magnetic anomaly and were found to contain evidence of metal working. Given the importance of the Great North Road, and associated route ways for horse-born travel and droving, small scale smithing hearths were probably not uncommon.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: A61, Sheep Lair Farm, Folksworth, Cambridgeshire, evaluation, geophysical survey, geophysics, test pit, fluxgate magnetometer, ridge and furrow, animal remains, animal bone, faunal remains, slag, iron slag, metal working debris, horse shoe, horse shoe nail, clinker, ceramic field drain, report A61, a61, report a61, cambridgeshire, folksworth, tuyere, prills, prill, norman cross, Norman Cross, Great North Road, hearth
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Depositing User: Archives
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 08:21
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2018 08:21
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/4291

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