Stanford on Soar

In 2015 MAS were asked to conduct a programme of archaeological work involving an earthwork survey and programme of archaeological monitoring prior to, and during, small scale development of land for stabling and a ménage at Stanford on Soar, Nottinghamshire.

The earthwork survey concluded that the standing earthworks present on the site were representative of medieval house platforms and part of the earlier settlement pattern for the current day village. Our archaeological investigations unearthed a single sherd of Roman pottery dated to the 3-4th century AD and a significant amount of re-deposited Roman building debris of similar date and presumingly used as a levelling layer during the construction of the medieval house platforms. The debris included small pieces of a mosaic pavement, roof tiles and a fragment of a box flue tile. Their presence is suggestive of a Roman building somewhere in the proximity of the site.

St Mary le Wigford, Lincoln

St Mary-le-Wigford is Grade I listed and was built in the 11th century AD, with later repairs and additions spanning between the 12th-19th centuries. There has also been recent speculation that the building may have an earlier foundation date of the late 10th century, possibly replacing an earlier timber church. The church has, within its fabric, earlier pieces of re-used stonework from the Roman and Saxon periods, most notably a Roman tombstone set within the west elevation of the tower which reads: “In memory of the departed; to the name of Sacer, son of Bruscus, a Senonian citizen, and Carssouna his wife and Quintus his son.” This stone was later re-purposed by a Saxon named Eirtrig who inscribed his own message upon it and used it as a dedication stone for the new church tower. Eirtrig’s message reads: “Eirtrig had me built and endowed to the glory of Christ and St. Mary”.

Unfortunately MAS did not uncover anything as exciting as a Roman tombstone but we did recover some sherds of 2nd – 4th century AD Roman Black Burnished Ware and 13th – 14th century AD Lincoln Glazed Ware pottery, and uncovered a 18 – 19th century brick vault, although empty of any occupants!

St Mary le Wigford, Lincoln

St Mary le Wigford, Lincoln

Roman Tombstone

Roman Tombstone

Brick Burial vault, St Mary le Wigford

Brick Burial vault, St Mary le Wigford

Pleshey – more news

Since 2013 MAS have been involved in a series of archaeological monitoring projects within the ancient village of Pleshey, in Essex.

The village of Pleshey has a diverse archaeological record, spanning from the prehistoric to the post-medieval periods and later. Much of this has been recorded over the years by chance discoveries, research projects, stray finds and during, or ahead of, development. The village also has many fine listed buildings, some dating back to the 15th century, while the 11th century town enclosure earthwork and castle, which are scheduled monuments, dominate the settlement area.

The projects undertaken by MAS at Tyle Barn and Beckets, as well as our current project at Ladystiles, were at the request of the local planning authority. This was because they lay within the curtilage of the earthwork enclosure, close to its western limit within the village. The Tyle Barn monitoring produced no significant archaeological finds or features, although our investigations at Beckets recorded a re-deposited soil believed to represent the spoil originally excavated out during the construction of the town enclosure in the 11th century.

MAS investigations at Pleshey 2013-2015

MAS investigations at Pleshey 2013-2015

Pleshey c.1900

Pleshey c.1900

No.1 Ermine Street, Ancaster

No.1 Ermine Street, a significantly important late 1st-4th century AD site which has helped to further current knowledge of the Roman Town of Ancaster.

During 2009 MAS undertook a strip, map and record exercise during development at No.1 Ermine Street, Ancaster. After initial machining of the site area it soon became apparent that a well preserved stone structure at a considerable depth was present, along with a small industrial area possibly representing an oven or kiln structure.

Artefacts recovered from the site included sherds of an Amphora vessel originating from Spain, pottery from the Nene Valley area of Peterborough, as well as 2nd century high status pottery sherds, one which belonged to a Central Gaulish decorated Samian ware bowl.

Photograph of a fragment of Roman pottery

2nd century Samian Ware

Plan of Armine Street excavation

Plan of Ermine St Roman Building

Photograph of a kiln under excavation

Kiln Structure

Photograph of a building under archaeological excavation

No.1 Ermine St Roman Building

The Old Plough, Weston-on-Trent

Between 2010-2012 MAS undertook a series of archaeological investigations during the re-development of a former public house site, The Old Plough, Weston-on-Trent, Derbyshire.

Initially MAS were asked to undertake a trenched evaluation of the site area prior to development, during this evaluation we discovered 11th century features and deposits, along with some well preserved 11th century pottery.

Once the development of the site was underway we were asked to record any archaeology which may have come to light. During these observations we uncovered a brick and stone lined well underneath the floor area of the former public house building, this was of a considerable depth and appeared to still be functioning!

Photograph of excavation at the Old Plough Inn

Evaluation: The Old Plough Inn

Photograph showing a brick lined well

Stone and brick lined well, The Old Plough Inn

Photograph of an archaeological watching brief

Watching brief: The Old Plough Inn

Photograph of a Saxon pit

Saxon pit containing 11th century pottery

Peterborough City Centre

Peterborough has kept MAS busy over the last couple of years with varied and interesting projects, ranging from desktop assessments, evaluations, watching briefs and building recording.

Between 2011-12 we conducted watching briefs at the Queensgate Shopping Centre during small scale expansion of the site, and where we discovered post-medieval pottery and a stone lined well of the same period just metres from the current shopping centre building. Whilst in the depths of the shopping centre we recorded the foundation remains of the late 19th century Salvation Army Citadel Building. Other works here have included a Level 3 historic building survey of Harriets Tearooms, a well known Grade II Listed landmark building. More recently, in 2014, we were involved in the monitoring of groundworks for the re-development of the former Royal Mail depot at Bourges Boulevard during the construction of a new Waitrose supermarket.

Photograph of a well under archaeological excavation

Stone Lined Well, Harriets Tearooms, Queensgate Shopping Centre

A photograph of Harriets Tearooms, Peterborough

Harriets Tearooms 19th century Revival Style Alms Houses

Photograph showing digging at Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough

Primark, Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough

Photograph of excavations at former Royal Mail Depot, Peterborough

Former Royal Mail Depot Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough

Architectural plan of Harriets Tearooms, Peterborough

Harriets Tearooms 19th century Revival Style Alms Houses

Ashton Estate, Ashton, Northamptonshire.

Since 2012 MAS have been involved with the archaeology of the Ashton Estate, Ashton, Northamptonshire. This estate was purchased by Lionel Rothschild in 1860 and later developed by his son Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, who transformed it into a model farm and was responsible for many of the estate’s revival style Grade II Listed buildings.

Re-development and modernisation to many of the Estates Listed properties has seen MAS conducting a number of archaeological interventions across the estate, including; watching briefs, Level 2 and 3 historic building surveys, most notably the impressive revival style water tower, model farm buildings of Chapel Farm and Ashton Wold House.


Photograph of Ashton Water Tower

Ashton Water Tower

Photograph of Ashton Wold House

Ashton Wold House

Photograph of Victorian Stabling Chapel Farm, Ashton

Victorian Stabling Chapel Farm Ashton

Photograph of The Great Barn Chapel Farm Ashton

The Great Barn Chapel Farm, Ashton

Elevation drawings of Ashton Water Tower

Ashton Water Tower