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Archaeological fieldwork throughout Leicestershire

Excavation News Leicestershire

September 5, 2018

University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have, as usual, been the most prolific archaeological contractor locally. At Seagrave, in advance of Leicester City’s new training ground, two areas have been excavated. In one, a large rectangular enclosure has been completely stripped. The ditches had been recut and it incorporated two smaller circular enclosures while pit alignments were revealed. The second area produced two smaller sub-rectangular enclosures, one postdating one of the pit alignments. A lot of Iron Age pottery and animal bones were found. At Lockington Quarry three droveways were revealed, one of which had late medieval pottery in the backfill. There were numerous prehistoric pits and post holes, some of which had mid to late Neolithic pottery, while others had much ash, charcoal and burnt stones. At Tilton parish church a watching brief recorded many bodies and a possible earlier churchyard wall. In Leicester at the Merlin Works site on Bath Lane the excavation has now been completed. A large complex of well-preserved stone buildings seems to date to the Early Roman period. There is no indication of what the
round building was used for. It may possibly have been a plunge bath if the rest of the complex is a bath site, although other possibilities include a shrine. A little to the north is the Waterside Development, where a large area in the north west of the walled town and to its north, is to be developed. The medieval cemetery has produced 151 skeletons. In other areas a north–south street fronted by masonry buildings, some with opus signinum and tessellated floors has been found. The team is working with the developers as demolition, groundworks and services go ahead. A small trench on Great Central Street to the north of the Stibbe site has shown survival of early Roman deposits. A large evaluation at Beaumont Leys, for the Ashton Green development, has been largely quiet although a small pocket of possible Iron Age features has just been uncovered.

Wardell Armstrong have been digging on the east side of Bath Lane, Leicester and have found the town wall and ditch. The wall was robbed but the rampart/bank was found. There were lots of pits, Roman demolition material, surfaces and possibly one building.

Cotswold Archaeology have been evaluating north of Burbage Common on a proposed rail-freight site. They have found what seems to be a 2nd century farmstead and a scatter of other features. Their work at Hinckley Island has also continued producing a 2nd – 3rd century Roman farmstead with a post built barn. Evaluation at Oadby, just north of Gartree Road has produced a scatter of Iron Age features.

Albion Archaeology have continued their work at Airfield Farm, Market Harborough revealing an Iron Age farming landscape with ring gullies and stock enclosures replaced by a rectilinear farmstead to the east including an aisled barn and corn driers.

Thames Valley Archaeological Services have been evaluating in advance of an extension to Shawell Quarry and found evidence of Iron Age occupation in the form of pits and ring gullies while in the south of the site were Roman pits and ditches, perhaps associated with the Roman settlement of Tripontium.

Allen Archaeology continue their excavation of the large Iron Age site at Leicester Road, Melton Mowbray showing several phases of activity including ring gullies, boundary ditches and stock enclosures.

Oxford Archaeology have been excavating at St Bartholemew’s Way, Melton Mowbray. This has produced Early to Middle Iron Age sub rectangular enclosures with a corn drier and good assemblages of pottery and bone. At Bottesford evaluation has shown Roman activity, in the form of pits and ditches, close to the River Devon with early and late Iron Age activity cut by medieval features.

MOLA have been working at Warwick Road, Kibworth. Roman period enclosures alongside a trackway have been revealed continuing a site examined on the other side of the road. There is some indication of Anglo-Saxon activity.