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Betjeman House, Broadcasting House and Land at Nos. 100-108 Hills Road, Cambridge: An Archaeological Desktop Assessment

Casa-Hatton, Rebecca (2005) Betjeman House, Broadcasting House and Land at Nos. 100-108 Hills Road, Cambridge: An Archaeological Desktop Assessment. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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This desktop appraisal was commissioned from Cambridgeshire County Council Archaeological Field Unit (CCC AFU) by Pace Investments to determine the archaeological potential of land as Nos 100-108 Hills Road, Cambridge (NGR TL 4578/57230, prior to redevelopment.

Early prehistoric finds from the study area are limited to a few lithic tools. Scant evident for Late Bronze Age activity has recently emerged during archaeological investigations a the site of the former Government Offices in Brooklands Avenue.

The main Roman feature in the proximity of the development area is the Via Devana Roman Road witch linked Godmanchester, Cambridge and Haverhill, and entered the town from the south. Possible remains of the road were recorded at the end of the 19th century in the ground of the University Botanic Garden, to the west of the proposed development site. Antiquarian excavations in the ground of Perse School further south revealed the road base as a deposit of hard-packed chalk some 0.20m thick, with flanking ditches. Earthworks in the form of a ditched and banked enclosure, as well as Roman pottery, were found during building wok at the junction of Station Road and the Old Cattle Market, to the south-east of the development site. These earthwork remains have been traditionally attributed to a Roman camp the existence of which has not been confirmed. The presence of the road is likely to have attracted occupation. To date, the evidence points to the presence of an extensive rural field-systems belonging to the hinterland of the Roman town, which would have included the proposed development site.

There is no record of Anglo-Saxon and medieval finds within the development site. Tradition has it that an Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery existed at Dam Hill, to the south-west. No further details are available. Medieval finds within the study area are represented by inhumation burials recorded at the junction between Hills Road and Harvey Road to the north of the development site, in the area of Barnwell Abbey/Priory further to the north, and behind the Addenbrooke's Hospital to the north-west. Further evidence for medieval activity includes the remains of agricultural practises associated with the open fields of the Eastern Field system. Furrows have been recorded during recent excavations at the former Government Offices in Brookland Avenue and at the Unilever site in Union Street.

Major topographical changes were brought about by the Enclosure Act of 1807 which affected the medieval open fields of the Eastern Fields system and led to urban expansion in the area between Newmarket Road and Hills Road. The Enclosure Map of 1807 shows the proposed development site, the boundaries of which have not been significantly altered since enclosure. A few decades later, the first edition of the Ordnance Survey depicts the northern part of site as having been subdivided into narrow tenement plots for terraced houses. Further south, an 'Inn' and a 'Public House' stood on the same site as the extant public houses at No. 106 and No. 108, respectively. A courtyard complex occupied the south-west corner. Later editions of the Ordnance Survey show no significant changes, at least until the last quarter of the 20th century, when most of the late 19th-century buildings were demolished, and the BBC Broadcasting Station was built on the western side of the former courtyard complex

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cambridge, cambridge, Cambridgeshire, cambridgeshire, Roman, roman, field system, post-medieval, Post-Medieval, post medieval, Post Medieval, 810, Report 810, report 810, CCCAFU report 810, DBA, dba, Desk-Based Assessment, desk-based assessment, Desk-based Assessment
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Depositing User: Archives
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 13:31
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 13:31
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5392

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