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Church Farm, Woodcote, Oxfordshire

Gorniak, Mariusz and Foreman, Stuart (2022) Church Farm, Woodcote, Oxfordshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by EDP Ltd to undertake a trial
trench evaluation of the site of a proposed residential development on land
at Church Farm, Woodcote, Oxfordshire.
The five trenches were excavated with a JCB 3CX excavator and the mechanical
excavation was followed by sample hand excavation and context recording.
Two trenches (2 and 3) were dug across three geophysical survey anomalies,
comprising a WNW-ESE aligned linear feature in Trench 3, and a curvilinear
feature and an adjacent circular discrete feature in Trench 2. No evidence for
the latter two anomalies was found in Trench 2. Two of the excavated trenches
(1 and 5) contained no significant archaeological features.
The linear feature in Trench 3 was confirmed as being a wide ditch, 3.75m
wide and 2.1m deep. The ditch fills contained 11th- to 13th-century pottery
sherds throughout. The same trench also contained a pit which produced
medieval pottery of the same type. The large ditch coincides roughly with the
location and alignment of a large y-shaped feature identified on aerial
photographs during the RCHME Thames Gravels Survey in 1993 (HER
reference MOX8014) which was tentatively interpreted in the DBA as a
possible palaeochannel or topographic depression used as a drainage
channel. The location of the ditch suggests that it may have marked the
outlying northern edge of the medieval village, well beyond the settled core
to the south. Given the predominantly woodland environment of this area
during the medieval period, located on the western edge of Woodcote
Common, it could have been equivalent to a forest ‘pale’, which were usually
substantial boundaries designed both to keep trespassers out and to control
grazing livestock.
Most of the trenches contained evidence for bioturbation and root
disturbance, including possible large tree-throw holes. It is likely that the site
was once wooded. As no artefacts were recovered from these natural features
the date at which the woodland was cleared is unknown.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 30 May 2023 11:44
Last Modified: 30 May 2023 11:44
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/7119

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