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Braybrooke Substation, Northamptonshire

Brady, Kate and Scott, Ian and Howsam, Charlotte Braybrooke Substation, Northamptonshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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In September 2018 Oxford Archaeology undertook an archaeological
evaluation comprising 20 trenches at the site of a proposed substation at
Braybrooke, Northamptonshire.
The evaluation identified two concentrations of archaeological features,
situated in the north and south-western parts of the evaluation area. All the
features were ditches and it is likely that they represent the boundaries of
enclosure complexes or groups of fields. Only two features produced dating
evidence – one in the northern group and one in the south-western group. In
both instances the pottery was Roman, and further Roman pottery was
recovered from the subsoil of a third trench. The small amount of pottery
recovered from the site is indicative of peripheral activity, perhaps suggesting
that the features were not particularly close to any associated areas of
domestic occupation.

In September 2019 Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by National Grid to undertake
an archaeological excavation on the site of a proposed new substation and access road within
the parish of Braybrooke, Northamptonshire (NGR: SP 75835 85804). The excavation revealed
a substantial ditch on a north-south alignment, and an adjacent complex of slighter boundary
ditches and enclosures extending over an area of at least 275m. The dating evidence from the
ditches is unfortunately very ambiguous, being limited to a few sherds of late Iron Age or early
Roman pottery, and at least one sherd of Ipswich ware dated to AD 720-850. While there are
stratigraphic relationships between some ditches, these do not provide a clear sequence of
development of the ditch complex as a whole. It is possible that the earliest elements of the
ditch complex were laid out in the late Iron Age or early Roman period, and that there was a
separate subsequent phase of enclosure in the Saxon period. However, given that the late Iron
Age/Roman sherds are typically small and abraded, in contrast to the larger size of the sherd
of Ipswich ware, it can tentatively be suggested that the ditch complex as a whole dates to the
Anglo-Saxon period or later, and that the earlier pottery is residual. The ditches are likely to
have defined fields or paddocks of agricultural use, or possibly outlying plots associated with
a nearby settlement. The very low quantities of artefacts and animal bone recovered, and the
absence of charred plant remains other than a small amount of charcoal, imply that any
settlement focus was not directly adjacent to the excavated area. Evidence for later activity
was limited to a post-medieval pit, and furrows of medieval or post-medieval date.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Northamptonshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2022 11:42
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2022 11:42
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6849

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