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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1820: summary

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Archaeological excavation on land north-west of Montpelier Villa, Blasford Hill, Little Waltham, CM3 3PG:January-February 2022
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Dr Matthew Loughton, Howard Brooks, Pip Parmenter and Lisa Gray)

Date report completed: July 2022
Location: Land north-west of Montpelier Villa, Blasford Hill, Little Waltham, CM3 3PG
Map reference(s): TL 7065 1194 (centre)
File size: 7851 kb
Project type: Excavation
Significance of the results:
Keywords: Montpelier Villa Little Waltham

Summary. Archaeological excavation was carried out on land north-west of Montpelier Villa, Little Waltham, Essex in advance of the construction of ten new dwellings.

An archaeological evaluation on the site in 2021 identified seven pits, seven ditches and a gully, most of which dated from the Late Iron Age into the Roman period. Finds, including fragments of daub, pottery vessels and a sherd of polychrome glass vessel, indicated that the site was probably located close to a settlement. Excavation revealed a Late Iron Age to early Roman enclosure in the north-west corner of the site with additional ditches forming a coaxial field system. The pottery shows a bias towards vessels used for food storage and preparation but did include some imported Samian and amphora. Daub possibly came from a structure and a very small quantity of animal bone and metal-working debris was also recovered.

By the 2nd century, six new ditches were focussed further to the east but on the same alignment as the original field system. The later-dated pottery occurs in much less quantity suggesting that occupation was no longer focussed on the site, although two copper-alloy coins along with a fragment of lava quern, some animal bone and metal-working debris all attest to people living and working in close proximity.