Albion Archaeology, in conjunction with RPS and on behalf of Dandara, are currently undertaking an archaeological investigation in advance of residential development at Gold Lane, Biddenham. Works are ongoing, but current evidence suggests the presence of Neolithic/Bronze Age, Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon remains.
The earliest remains comprise a Neolithic/early Bronze Age monument, which would have formed part of a wider landscape of similar monuments known to have existed locally within a loop of the river Great Ouse. The monument, which may have been constructed as much as 6000 years ago, is thought to have provided a focus for ceremonial and ritual activities.
Also present is evidence for Iron Age settlement, including several storage pits, which would have been used to preserve seed grain overwinter for sowing in the spring. Evidence for at least one roundhouse was identified. Roundhouses are the most common form of building identified on Iron Age settlements in Britain; they are thought to have been constructed using wattle and daub (a mixture of clay, water and animal dung) walls, wooden posts and thatched roofs.
Perhaps the most unexpected discovery was the presence of relatively extensive Anglo-Saxon remains. These included the remains of a ‘sunken-featured building’, characteristic of the period, as well as several other buildings. Another interesting discovery is that of an oven, used for baking bread or drying grain.
Iain Leslie, Albion Archaeology, commented: “The uncovered remains offer a fantastic addition to our understanding of Neolithic/early Bronze Age, Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon settlement in the area”
Chris Higgins, Land and Development Director at Dandara Northern Home Counties, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Albion Archaeology to help uncover and preserve the archaeological remains at Gold Lane. We have really enjoyed learning about the findings. It's great to have an advanced understanding of such key periods of history and to have a unique opportunity to appreciate the historical importance of the site.”