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Land Adjacent to Crewe Green Link Road, Cheshire- Archaeological Evaluation Report

Town, Matthew (2005) Land Adjacent to Crewe Green Link Road, Cheshire- Archaeological Evaluation Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology North was commissioned by the Duchy of Lancaster to undertake an archaeological evaluation on land adjacent to Crewe Green Link Road, Cheshire (NGR SJ 725 548), subsequent to a geophysical survey undertaken by Stratascan Ltd in November 2004. The work was required to inform an application for planning permission to construct industrial premises on the site (Planning Application ref: P04/0489). The fieldwork was undertaken in March 2005.

The proposed development is situated in an area identified as being of high archaeological importance. The earliest archaeological evidence for the area relates to the later medieval period; Crewe is listed in the eleventh century Domesday survey. Settlement is thought to have existed in the vicinity, in the present grounds of Crewe Hall, supplanted following the creation of the park. Several unidentified earthworks have been identified within the park boundary, and it is possible that these earthworks may represent remnants of previous medieval settlement. Furthermore, a watching brief was carried out by Liverpool Museums Field Archaeology Unit during the construction of Crewe Green Road. Two shallow ditches were identified, whose projected lines continued into the evaluation area. These ditches were provisionally dated to the early post-medieval period.

The evaluation required the excavation of three 50m by 2m trenches, centred on anomalies identified during the initial geophysical survey. The majority of the anomalies were shown to correlate with field boundaries relating to the post-medieval field system, although evidence of deep hillwash in Trench 1 is suggestive of a landscape feature such as an infilled local quarry or similar. The results of the evaluation provided further useful information on the survival of archaeological deposits within the development area, and their nature and composition. Pottery fragments found on the ground surface around the trenches datingfrom the sixteenth to early eighteenth century were relatively large and showed little abrasion. This suggested that they had not been much disturbed since their deposition, and could well imply settlement close by. However, evidence from the evaluation implies that the area had been subject to arable use until relatively modern times with a relict plough soil having been observed. Therefore, the retrieval of pottery of such size and type from the surface is intriguing and will contribute to the corpus of pottery evidence for the area.

The earliest evidence, however, is in the form of a single fragment of Roman pottery, which hints at a Roman presence in the area, but is insufficient to suggest intensive activity. Other finds can be dated to the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century and include late vessel and window glass, as well as contemporary ceramic building material and fuel ash indicating general agricultural activity across the area.

The evaluation results indicate that the majority of the proposed development area has little surviving in the way of archaeological deposits or features other than that relating to postmedieval agricultural practices. The potential for the recovery of significant archaeological deposits appears to be low, and therefore the construction of a commercial development on the site will only have a limited or negligible impact on any sub-surface archaeological resource.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cheshire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2021 12:19
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2021 12:19
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5662

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