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Dunstall Field Tiddington Road Stratford-upon- Avon

Gorniak, Mariusz and McIntosh, Robert Dunstall Field Tiddington Road Stratford-upon- Avon. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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TIDST14 Evaluation
Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by the landowner Marie-Louise
McAlister to undertake a trial trench evaluation of Dunstall Field (centred on NGR
SP 21445 55541), which lies on the north side of Tiddington Road between
Stratford-upon-Avon and Tiddington. Most of the field is part of Scheduled Ancient
Monument WA 184, Tiddington Roman settlement. The trenching followed a deskbased
report and geophysical survey conducted in 2012. The evaluation fieldwork
was carried out between 29th September and 7th October 2014.
The evaluation confirmed the presence of a ditch in the south-eastern part of the
site (Trench 1), as suggested by the geophysical survey, but other suggested
anomalies to the south of this were not confirmed by excavation. The ditch
contained late Iron Age-early Roman sherds.
Another ditch on a parallel alignment was found in the western corner of the site
(Trench 8), an undated ditch (again parallel) in Trench 2 and a gully on a very similar
alignment in Trench 9. The ditch in Trench 8 also contained late Iron Age/early
Roman pottery, and the gully pottery of late 1st-middle 2nd century date. None of
these features had been picked up by the geophysical survey.
Discrete strong magnetic anomalies targeted by Trenches 3, 4 and 7 proved to be
pits. They have been dated by finds or stratigraphy to the late 1st/early-middle 2nd
century AD, the post-medieval and the middle Iron Age periods respectively. A few
anomalies highlighted by the geophysical survey proved not to be archaeological.
The evaluation trenches also revealed pits not detected by geophysical survey.
These comprised a second pit in Trench 3 (undated) and a 2nd century pit in the
south-eastern part of the field (Trench 2). All of the features not detected by survey
were in areas of clay natural geology, or were very shallow.
A set of magnetic anomalies forming a linear pattern, orientated north-east to southwest,
appears to correspond to the edge of a hollow or depression of late Glacial or
early Holocene date, which was filled by a sequence of colluvial deposits. The
lowest colluvial fill in the south-western part of the field contained finds of probable
Beaker date (2500-2000 BC).
A sequence of alluvial deposits were found at the north-western edge of the field,
where the natural geology slopes down rapidly to the floodplain of the River Avon.
Roman pottery and residual struck flint was recovered from one of the alluvial fills,
but no waterlogged environmental remains or molluscan remains were present.
A ploughsoil containing tile of 15th-17th century date was found overlying the
archaeological features, except for the pit in Trench 4, which cut the ploughsoil. This
in turn was sealed by a second ploughsoil containing finds of 18th-19th century
date, and this was sealed by the existing topsoil, which was worm-sorted, confirming
the use of the field for pasture in recent times.
The density of features was sparse, and the quantity of finds of any period was
small and of limited variety, comprising pottery, fired clay, tile, struck flint, a stone
tessera and a little Roman smithing slag. Animal bones and charred remains of
several periods were present, but no molluscan or waterlogged environmental
TIDST16 phase 2 evaluation
Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by the landowner Marie-Louise McAlister to undertake a trial trench evaluation of Dunstall Field (Centred on NGR SP 2145 5555), which lies on the north side of Tiddington Road between Stratford-upon-Avon and Tiddington. Most of the field is part of Scheduled Monument WA 184, Tiddington Roman settlement, but the extent, date and character of archaeological remains here remained unclear. Following a desk-based report in 2012 a geophysical survey was carried out in the same year. The geophysical survey did not indicate a high density of archaeological features, so a 2% evaluation by trenching (Phase 1) followed between September and October 2014 to clarify whether the survey was truly representative of the archaeology on the site.
Phase 1 comprised 10 trenches, targeted upon geophysical anomalies and aiming to provide overall coverage of the field. The results suggested that Roman settlement was confined to the south and east edges of the site, and that beyond this Roman activity consisted only of early Roman field boundaries. A single Iron Age pit was also found, and a sherd of Beaker pottery and struck flints in a wide hollow filled with colluvium crossing the site. Overall, archaeological remains appeared to be sparse, though it was recognised that a 2% sample was not sufficient to place too much reliance upon the representativeness of the results.
Accordingly, a second group of trenches (Phase 2) was excavated in September 2016. These trenches were aimed at clarifying questions raised by the Phase 1 trenching, including further examination of the large hollow that had contained the Beaker pottery and environmental remains. Following consultation with Ian George of Historic England and Anna Stocks of Warwickshire County Archaeological Services, another 9 trenches were dug, raising the evaluation percentage to 3.85%.
No further Iron Age features were found around the pit in Trench 7, indicating that this was an isolated example. The majority of the trenches in the middle part of the field proved to be blank, confirming the negative evidence of the geophysical survey, except for Trench 17 on the east, which contained shallow features comprising four ditches (one recut) and a pit. Those that contained finds were all of early Roman date. Another field boundary ditch was also found in Trench 14.
The deep hollow was further investigated on the east, in the middle and the west the field. The fills in all three areas were sands with varying proportions of clay, eroded from the gravel terrace deposits to the south-east. The hollow shallowed from east to west, possibly ending in Trench 19. One or more dark horizons were seen throughout, representing soil formation sometimes enhanced by charcoal.
In the eastern trench (Trench 11) the dark horizons produced Roman pottery, and overlay a Roman ditch or gully cut into the sandy clay at the base of the hollow. A shallow ditch indicated by the geophysical survey was also found, and this cut one dark layer and was sealed by further inwash deposits. In the middle trench (Trench 12) the dark fills were similar, and also included Roman finds. To the west, the deposit containing Beaker evidence was not found, but the overlying dark fills were investigated, and also proved to be Roman.
Overall a concentration of Roman activity was confirmed in the east and south-east of the field, crossing the hollow, and field boundaries to the north and west of this.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Warwickshire
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2021 13:24
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 13:28
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5985

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