Information for record number MWA4885:
Site of Late Bronze Age/Iron Age Settlement and Midden, 400m NE Beaman's Covert

Summary The possible site of an Bronze Age/ Iron Age settlement and midden. An enclosure and linear features are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. Large quantities of decorated Iron Age pottery and animal bone have been recovered from the site, which lies 400m north east of Beaman's Covert.
What Is It?  
Type: Settlement, Enclosure, Linear Feature, Midden
Period: Iron Age (800 BC - 42 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Whitchurch
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 22 47
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record

Source Number  

1 Part of a probable subrectangular enclosure and linear features show on aerial photographs in Warwick Museum. During survey in 1985 a dense scatter of Iron Age pottery, animal bone and burnt stone was found. The site was gridded and material collected. 531 pieces of early Iron Age pottery, 361 pieces of animal bone and five quern stones were found. The pottery is shell-gritted and includes jars with fingertipping on rounded shoulders and vessels with decorative motifs formed by incised lines. The sherds are similar to pottery from other Iron Age sites on the North Cotswolds. The main concentration of material lies over the cropmark enclosure and probably indicates a small farmstead of Iron Age date. The occurrence of animal bone and quern stones probably indicates a mixed economy.
2 Shown on aerial photographs.
3 Record forms showing finds patterning. There are also details in the FI file of fabric analysis and some drawings of prehistoric pottery from Whitchurch.
4 Three Iron Age sites have been located. Crimscote Down is probably a single farm, but Birchfurlong is very extensive - possibly as large as 10 ha and represents an extensive nucleated site. Rotton Pot Furlong has only been examined very briefly. Evidence for the chronology of these sites is uncertain, although it would seem that Birchfurlong was occupied throughout the Iron Age and the same is probably true of Crimscote Down.
5 Plan of site.
6 Mentioned as a very extensive open late Bronze Age settlement. Examination of about half the site produced 4,700 pieces of prehistoric pottery, 2,600 fragments of animal bone and 24 querns. The quantities of material may suggest that this site is comparable to the extensive late Bronze [Age] midden at Potterne, Wiltshire.
7 A proposal for excavation, produced by Cardiff University. This reflects the change in interpretation of this site, from a settlement to a midden. Auger survey was undertaken in January 2006, to invesitgate the 'spread' of deposits; they seemed to suggest activity was concentrated at the top of the hill. Personal communication from the farmer indicates that other, previously unrecorded, cropmarks may lie adjacent to those areas of interest already identified through aerial photography. excavation in September 2006 is targeted at the area identified through fieldwalking and test magnetometry survey.
8 Brief account of work carried out on the site in September 2006 and 2007 by Cardiff University, under the direction of Niall Sharples and Kate Waddington. excavation of three trenches in 2006 recorded the midden deposits as a thick dark earth layer containing large quantities of pottery and animal bone. Features were clearly cut into the underlying gravel in all 3 trenches. A week of geophysical survey was undertaken in September 2007. Magnetic susceptibility proved to be an excellent method for defining the edge of the midden . A route way to approach the site, several large enclosures and a series of linear boundaries, a large trapezoidal enclosure, the ring ditches of at least two round houses were suggested. This indicates a midden and complex settlement, some of which might be chronologically related to the construction of the midden. Metalwork was also recorded dating to the Late Bronze Age / Early Iron Age by a programme of metal detector survey carried out on the site. A plot of the magnetic survey results and interpretation is included with this report.
9 Interim report on 2006-2009 excavations. In addition to reporting on the excavation and geophysical and metal detecting surveys the report details the finds assemblages with specialist contributions. An illustrated catalogue of the copper alloy finds is appended. Further post-excavation work is planned.
10 The cropmark enclosure described above (Source 1) was visible on available aerial photographs and was mapped as part of the South East Warwickshire and Cotswold Hills HLS NMP target Areas project. The sub rectangular enclosure is centred at SP 22730 47750 and located west of Birchfurlong Cottages, Whitchurch and defined by a ditch on three sides with an entrance on the western side. Further enclosures were visible at SP22646 47910, where a subrectangular and curvilinear enclosure appear conjoined. To the north of these at SP 22656 47992 is a partial recilinear enclosure and linear feature. Another possible small rectilinear enclosure is also visible at SP 22799 47976. These Iron Age to Roman enclosures may also be associated with similar enclosures to the north.

Source No: 2
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Author/originator: J Pickering
Date: 1962
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: SP4489 C/D/E/X
Source No: 6
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society: Transactions for 1996 Volume 100 (TBAS vol 100)
Author/originator: D. Hooke (ed.)
Date: 1996
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 100
Source No: 8
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: The Whitchurch Excavations
Author/originator: Niall Sharples and Kate Waddington
Date: 2008
Page Number:
Source No: 9
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: The excavations at Whitchurch 2006-2009, an Interim Report
Author/originator: Waddington K & Niall S
Date: 2010
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Report 29
Source No: 5
Source Type: Plan
Title: WMA vol 31
Author/originator: Hingley R C
Date: 1988
Page Number: 38
Volume/Sheet: 31
Source No: 3
Source Type: Record Card/Form
Title: Iron Age Settlement, Whitchurch
Author/originator: Hingley R C
Date: 1985
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Field Survey Record
Source No: 4
Source Type: Serial
Title: WMA vol 31 1988
Author/originator: Hingley R C
Date: 1988
Page Number: 38
Volume/Sheet: 31
Source No: 1
Source Type: Serial
Title: WMA vol 29 1986
Author/originator: Hingley R C
Date: 1986
Page Number: 56
Volume/Sheet: 29
Source No: 7
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Investigations at an extensive LBA/EIA midden and occupation complex at Whitchurch, Warwickshire
Author/originator: k Waddington
Date: 2006
Page Number:
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Word or Phrase
source TBAS Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society is a journal produced by the society annually. It contains articles about archaeological field work that has taken place in Birmingham and Warwickshire in previous years. Copies of the journal are kept by the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source WMA West Midlands Archaeology. This publication contains a short description for each of the sites where archaeological work has taken place in the previous year. It covers Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. Some of these descriptions include photographs, plans and drawings of the sites and/or the finds that have been discovered. The publication is produced by the Council For British Archaeology (CBA) West Midlands and is published annually. Copies are held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
technique Geophysical Survey The measuring and recording of electrical resistivity or magnetism in order to determine the existence and outline of buried features such as walls and ditches. Geophysical techniques include resistivity survey, magnetometer survey and ground penetrating radar. View Image back
technique Cropmark Cropmarks appear as light and dark marks in growing and ripening crops. These marks relate to differences in the soil below. For example, parched lines of grass may indicate stone walls. Crops that grow over stone features often ripen more quickly and are shorter than the surrounding crop. This is because there is less moisture in the soil where the wall lies.

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technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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technique Aerial Photograph Aerial photographs are taken during an aerial survey, which involves looking at the ground from above. It is usually easier to see cropmarks and earthworks when they are viewed from above. Aerial photographs help archaeologists to record what they see and to identify new sites. There are two kinds of aerial photographs; oblique and vertical. back
period Prehistoric About 500,000 BC to 42 AD

The Prehistoric period covers all the periods from the Palaeolithic to the end of the Iron Age.
This is a time when people did not write anything down so there is no documentary evidence for archaeologists to look at. Instead, the archaeologists look at the material culture belonging to the people and the places where they lived for clues about their way of life.

The Prehistoric period is divided into the Early Prehistoric and Later Prehistoric.
The Early Prehistoric period covers the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods.
The Later Prehistoric period covers Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age times.
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period Bronze Age About 2500 BC to 700 BC

The Bronze Age comes after the Neolithic period and before the Iron Age.

The day to day life of people in the Bronze Age probably changed little from how their ancestors had lived during the Neolithic period. They still lived in farmsteads, growing crops and rearing animals.

During the Bronze Age people discovered how to use bronze, an alloy of tin and copper (hence the name that has given to this era). They used it to make their tools and other objects, although they continued to use flint and a range of organic materials as well. A range of bronze axes, palstaves and spears has been found in Warwickshire.
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period Iron Age About 800 BC to 43 AD

The Iron Age comes after the Bronze Age and before the Roman period. It is a time when people developed the skills and knowledge to work and use iron, hence the name ‘Iron Age’ which is given to this period. Iron is a much tougher and more durable metal than bronze but it also requires more skill to make objects from it. People continued to use bronze during this period.
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period Roman About 43 AD to 409 AD (the 1st century AD to the 5th century AD)

The Roman period comes after the Iron Age and before the Saxon period.

The Roman period in Britain began in 43 AD when a Roman commander called Aulus Plautius invaded the south coast, near Kent. There were a series of skirmishes with the native Britons, who were defeated. In the months that followed, more Roman troops arrived and slowly moved westwards and northwards.
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monument UNIVERSITY * A group of colleges and associated buildings belonging to a university. back
monument LAYER * An archaeological unit of soil in a horizontal plane which may seal features or be cut through by other features. back
monument HOUSE * A building for human habitation, especially a dwelling place. Use more specific type where known. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument SETTLEMENT * A small concentration of dwellings. back
monument RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE * A monument consisting of an area of land enclosed by a ditch, bank, wall, palisade or similar barrier, where the barrier consists of several straight or near straight sections. back
monument CURVILINEAR ENCLOSURE * A monument consisting of an area of land enclosed by a ditch, bank, wall, palisade or similar barrier, where the boundary follows an irregular curving course. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument MIDDEN * A refuse heap. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE * A rectangular shaped area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or similar barrier. back
monument FARMSTEAD * The homestead of a farm consisting of a farmhouse and working farm buildings, with yards, other working areas and usually a garden to the house. back
monument LINEAR FEATURE * A length of straight, curved or angled earthwork or cropmark of uncertain date or function. back
monument MUSEUM * A building, group of buildings or space within a building, where objects of value such as works of art, antiquities, scientific specimens, or other artefacts are housed and displayed. back
monument ENCLOSURE * An area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or other similar barrier. Use specific type where known. back
monument RING DITCH * Circular or near circular ditches, usually seen as cropmarks. Use the term where the function is unknown. Ring ditches may be the remains of ploughed out round barrows, round houses, or of modern features such as searchlight emplacements. back
monument TRENCH * An excavation used as a means of concealment, protection or both. back
monument DITCH * A long and narrow hollow or trench dug in the ground, often used to carry water though it may be dry for much of the year. back
monument TRAPEZOIDAL ENCLOSURE * An area of land, roughly shaped like a trapezoid and enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or similar barrier. back
monument ROUND * A small, Iron Age/Romano-British enclosed settlement found in South West England. back
monument FARM * A tract of land, often including a farmhouse and ancillary buildings, used for the purpose of cultivation and the rearing of livestock, etc. Use more specific type where known. back
monument TARGET * Any structure or object, used for the purpose of practice shooting by aerial, seaborne or land mounted weapons. back
monument SUBRECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE * A monument consisting of an area enclosed by a ditch, bank, wall, palisade or similar barrier, where the barrier follows an almost rectangular course. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record