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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 549: summary

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Archaeological monitoring and evaluation at Hanningfield Water Treatment Works, West Hanningfield, Essex: November 2009 and April 2010
by Ben Holloway, Howard Brooks and Donald Shimmin

Date report completed: May 2010
Location: Hanningfield Water Treatment works, West Hanningfield, Essex
Map reference(s): TQ726988
File size: 2886 kb
Project type: Monitoring and evaluation
Significance of the results: */**
Keywords: prehistoric and Roman pits

Summary. A 4% evaluation by 90 trial trenches identified 70 archaeological features. The majority of these were undated (30% of all features), including a group of similarly-aligned but undated field ditches (17%). The majority of the dated features were prehistoric pits or ditches (18%), natural features including tree-throw pits (17%), and Roman pits or ditches (15%).

The dated prehistoric and Roman features indicated two concentrations of prehistoric and Roman activity. First, limited Bronze Age activity in the centre of the evaluation site (centred on Trench 49), and second, Late Iron Age or Roman activity in the eastern part of the site (centred on Trenches 5 and 6). However, there was no indication of contemporary buildings here.

The wetness of the site and marginal nature of the ground make it arguably an unsuitable place for permanent settlement. The land is better suited to agriculture, as is shown by the ditches of the undated N/S orientated field system found on the higher and dryer ground in the centre and on the eastern side of the site. Although this field system is undated, it shares the alignment of the Roman ditches.