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Archaeology in the Park Excavations at Jennett's Park, Bracknell, Berkshire

Simmonds, Andrew and Cook, Sharon and Biddulph, Edward and Score, David (2009) Archaeology in the Park Excavations at Jennett's Park, Bracknell, Berkshire. Project Report. Oxford Archaeology.

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Abstract

In 2006 and 2007 Oxford Archaeology undertook a
programme of archaeological investigations in advance
of construction of the urban village of Jennett’s Park in
an area of former farmland belonging to Peacock Farm,
Bracknell, Berkshire. These investigations revealed that
the site had been witness to a series of contrasting
episodes of occupation and activity over a period of
several thousand years.
The earliest occupation comprised the small, temporary
camp of a band of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers at
the top of the southern slope of Jennett’s Hill, most likely
taking advantage of the elevated position of this knoll
overlooking an area of wetland to the south-west. The
remains of the camp consisted of a concentration of
worked flint recovered from a buried topsoil, and the
range of tools present indicated that a variety of activities
were carried out here including the processing of
hides. The view may have been enhanced by deliberate
clearance of trees, the resulting erosion of soil leading to
the formation of a colluvial deposit that buried the
ancient soil.
After a hiatus of activity during the Neolithic period,
when the site appears to have been little visited, activity
recommenced in the middle Bronze Age. Features of
this date comprised three burnt mounds, two waterholes,
two trough-like pits and a possible cremation burial
or deliberately-placed pot, as well as a number of small
pits or postholes buried beneath two of the burnt
mounds. Calibrated radiocarbon dates of 1630–1490 BC/
1480–1450 BC and 1420–1260 BC were obtained for two
of the burnt mounds.
Jennett’s Park was first used for permanent settlement
during the middle Iron Age, when a small
farmstead was established. The settlement was occupied
into the late Iron Age but was abandoned before the start
of the Roman period. An agricultural landscape defined
by a complex of field boundary ditches was established
towards the end of the late Iron Age, but it is not certain
whether this was associated with the final phase of the
settlement or replaced it. The field system continued in
use into the Roman period, when the boundaries were reorganised and new ditches dug before being abandoned,
apparently during the early 2nd century.
Evidence was found at the northern end of the investigations
for two definite and one possible curvilinear
stock enclosures dating from the late 11th-late 12th
centuries, which were superseded by a system of fields
and enclosures that were in use until the mid 14th
century. These features may be associated with a
posited settlement beyond the limits of the excavation,
and their abandonment may have been associated with
the enclosure of part of the area during the creation of
Easthampstead Park. A post-medieval kiln, probably
for limeburning, was excavated. This may have
supplied lime for the construction during the 17th
century of the first Easthampstead Park House, which
has since been demolished and replaced at a different
location.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects: Period > UK Periods > Mesolithic 10,000 - 4,000 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Middle Iron Age 400 - 100 BC
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Berkshire
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2011 15:44
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2011 14:45
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/564

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