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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 488: summary

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An archaeological evaluation at Stanhope Park, Wharf Road,Stanford-le-Hope, Essex July 2008
by Chris Lister
(with contributions from P Allen, D R Bridgland, I Candy, R Preece, D Schreve, and J Whittaker)

Date report completed: February 2009
Location: Stanhope Park, Wharf Road, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex
Map reference(s): TQ698815
File size: 16,830 kb
Project type: Trial trench evaluation
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: flints, Palaeolithic

Summary. The site is located on the Thames estuary in an area that has been densely populated from the Roman period onwards, and consequently was considered to be potentially archaeologically rich. An evaluation by 35 trial-trenches revealed thinly-spread evidence of activity ranging from the Mesolithic to the modern period. Features of note were a Roman pit and a medieval ditch. An interesting find was a collection of unstratified Palaeolithic flints deposited on the site from the river margin somewhere upstream. The low incidence of datable archaeological features is surprising given the proximity of the Mucking site to the south-west, and the number of findspots of Roman pottery from the foreshore and Mucking Creek. Approximately one-third of the features excavated were modern, reflecting the impact of developing industries in the area over the past 100 years. This probably explains the paucity of surviving archaeological features and finds here, as the industrial use of the site and, later, stripping of topsoil to remove contaminants, has severely affected in situ preservation. A geological appraisal of the site included palaeontological identification of molluscs which indicate that the shallow channels crossing the site were active in the Roman or later periods.