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Ruddle Court Farm, Newnham, Gloucestershire

Howsam, Charlotte (2022) Ruddle Court Farm, Newnham, Gloucestershire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology carried out an archaeological excavation in 2019 at the
site of Ruddle Court Farm in Newnham, Gloucestershire. Preceding trialtrench
evaluation in 2019 of the c 1.9ha development site established the
presence of significant archaeological remains, including a number of ditches,
pits and cremation burials, as well as metalworking remains of regional
archaeological importance. Four excavation areas, totalling c 0.5ha, were
subsequently targeted upon these remains.
Remains of Roman burial activity were confined to the south of the site,
evidenced by a small cremation cemetery that probably spanned the 2nd
century AD. A group of six burials were recorded, four of which were urned. A
notably rich burial included a glass cinerary urn placed within an amphora and
probably represents the remains of a wealthy individual. A cremation burial of
late Roman date was recorded away from the cemetery, demonstrating
continual burial activity.
Further evidence of Roman activity includes a small-scale enclosure/field
system demarcated by ditches, a possible post-built building or fence line,
several pits, and a stone-lined water-tank and culvert. Pottery evidence
suggests a focus of activity during the 2nd–3rd centuries AD, and continuing
into the 4th century. Residual late Iron Age/early Roman pottery demonstrates
a background presence within the immediate vicinity of the site during this
period, while a gold aureus of Vespasian dating to the 1st century AD could
indicate the purposeful deposition of a curated item. Many of the ditches
contained slag waste from iron production and working, and two large slag
deposits at the southern end of the site suggest industrial activity of the late
Roman period, one being dated to the later 3rd or later 4th century AD from
radiocarbon analysis of associated charcoal.
It is possible that small-scale industrial activity at the site continued or more
likely reoccurred in the early medieval period. This is evidenced by two 8th–
9th-century radiocarbon dates from charcoal samples recovered froma
possible ore- or charcoal-burning furnace found close to the two slag deposits
were recorded in the south-east of the site. Two pits or hearths containing
burnt deposits, albeit undated, were either related to the later Roman or early
medieval industrial activity.
Evidence of later medieval/post-medieval agricultural activity was largely
concentrated in the south of the site, in the form of several ditches that appear
to have defined two perpendicular trackways. A small number of pits
containing later medieval and post-medieval finds also attest to associated
land use. More modern land drains indicate continued agricultural activity, as
demonstrated by historic mapping.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Primary Archives
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Gloucestershire
Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2023 12:35
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2023 12:35
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/7127

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