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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 818: summary

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Archaeological attendance and recording (watching brief) at St Annís Farm, Southminster Road, Asheldham, Essex: March 2015
by Ben Holloway
(with contributions from -)

Date report completed: March 2015
Location: St Annís Farm, Southminster Road, Asheldham, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 9690 0124 (c)
File size: 219 kb
Project type: Archaeological attendance and recording (watching brief)
Significance of the results: negative
Keywords: -

Summary. The site is on the western side of Asheldham village on the Dengie Peninsula. Dengie is characterised by small isolated farms scattered throughout open fields, the result of reclamation of the Dengie and Tillingham marshes in the 19th century. The site is in an area of known archaeological potential. It is in the midst of a number of known archaeological sites, including the scheduled Asheldham Camp (Iron Age fort). There is also evidence for multi-period activity in and around the Camp. This includes a possible Neolithic settlement, and Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo- Saxon finds. To the north of the site and over the Southminster Road are the cropmarks of a probable ring-ditch (burial mound) and various linear features, probably field boundaries. To the immediate east and south-east, prehistoric and Roman finds have been recovered. A watching brief was carried out in March 2015 during the excavation of a slab foundation for a new tractor and agricultural equipment store. The foundation was excavated to a maximum formation depth of 400mm though a thin modern topsoil and loosely-compacted building rubble. In the north end of the foundation where the formation reached its maximum depth of 400mm, 'natural' sand with patches of boulder clay was observed (L3). There were no significant archaeological features or finds. The large quantity of roofing slate, brick and tile fragments and concrete revealed by the excavation was dumped debris from a roofing business operated by the previous owner. The lack of archaeological material found in this project does not detract from the fact that St Ann's is in an archaeologically rich and ancient landscape of prehistoric, Roman and post-Roman field boundaries.