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Buckinghamshire Golf Club, Denham

Donnelly, Mike (2011) Buckinghamshire Golf Club, Denham. Project Report. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In March 2011, Oxford Archaeology South undertook an evaluation at Buckinghamshire Golf
Club, Denham, on behalf of Hunter Price Chartered architects. One 'T'-shaped evaluation trench
was located within the confines of the proposed building footprint. This was expected to
encounter to a pond (possibly originally part of a medieval moat) that is shown on historic maps
dating back to the late 16th century. It also had the potential to encounter archaeological remains
buried by alluvial deposits associated with the adjacent River Colne.
A raised gravel bank was identified which appeared to mark the eastern edge of the pond / moat.
A tree line (which partly survives in the present garden) appears to have been planted along the
bank, which therefore seems most likely to be an artificial landscaped feature associated with the
gardens of Denham Court. The date of construction of the bank is unclear, although it clearly
overlay the Holocene alluvial sequence and was an extent garden feature until the late 20th
century.
The soil sequence in Trench 1 was different on either side of the gravel bank: On the western
side of the bank the sequence consisted of modern demolition debris, at least 1.2m deep, which
was apparently used to infill the pond / moat shown on historic maps. The pond is believed to
have been infilled during a refurbishment of Denham Court in the 1980s.To the east of the bank
the sequence comprised garden soils to a depth of 0.8m below ground level (bgl), below which
alluvium was encountered. The base of the alluvium was not encountered within the evaluation
trench, although a test pit was dug at the southern end to a depth of 2.5m. The alluvium
contained significant quantities of preserved organic material, including tree branches and twigs,
in peaty lenses, although the only artefact recovered was a single undiagnostic flint flake found
close to the top of the sequence.
Two series of auger samples were subsequently undertaken to establish the full depth and
character of the alluvial sediments. These were sampled at 0.1m intervals and were assessed by
an environmental archaeologist. They contained no evidence for human activity, but clearly show
that the alluvial sequence has potential for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and radiocarbon
dating, should it be required. However the absence of significant directly associated
archaeological remains would limit the potential and justification for palaeoenvironmental
analysis. Similiar deposits are likely to occur extensively within the floodplain of the River Colne in
the vicinity. The sandy character of the sediments near the base of the alluvial sequence
suggests that they are channel deposits, which have generally low potential for containing in situ
early prehistoric archaeological material.
Other than the eastern edge of the pond / moat feature, the results of the fieldwork indicate that
there is a very low likelihood that significant archaeological remains will be encountered within the
building footprint.
The new office block will be built on strip foundations. These have not been designed in detail at
the time of writing, but are expected to be c 2m deep, in which case they will cause localised
disturbance of the garden and alluvial deposits, but are unlikely to penetrate to the surface of the
underlying gravels.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Buckinghamshire
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Buildings
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 14:44
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2011 14:46
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/575

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