Information for record number MWA7249:
Waverley Wood Farm Pit Palaeolithic site, Bubbenhall

Summary Findspot - four Palaeolithic handaxes, a pebble tool and a scraper were found in a river channel 1km south of Bubbenhall. The finds suggest that this was a pre-Anglian Lower Palaeolithic occupation site.
What Is It?  
Type: Findspot, Occupation Site
Period: Late Lower Palaeolithic (500000 BC - 150001 BC)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Bubbenhall
District: Warwick, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 36 71
(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
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 A palaeolithic site first recognised in 1984, revealed during the extraction of the overlying periglacial gravels. An ancient river course with four distinct channels. The most important information was recovered from the two earliest channels which contain large amounts of environmental data including mammal bones, plant fossils, insect remains and mollusc shells. Most significantly there are also stone tools: four handaxes, a cobble tool, a scraper and two flakes; only one of the flakes was found in situ (in the earliest channel - about 500 000 years old). Three of the handaxes are made from a non-local material, the nearest source for which is in Wales. It is suggested the tools were imported after they were made, and that two of them were possibly crafted by a single manufacturer at the same time and in one location. The stone tools are thought to represent a temporary hunting camp made by a small group of early humans. Waverley Farm Pit site is comparable with Boxgrove (W Sussex), High Lodge (Suffolk), and Kents Cavern (Devon).
2 Further information.
3 Analysis of the stone tool assemblage, comprising 3 andesitic tuff handaxes, 2 modified Bunter (quartzite) pebbles and a Bunter flake. Details of the discovery, local geology, petrology, artefact morphology and state of preservation. Andesitic tuff found in the lake District and North Wales but most likely source local till glacial erratics. Finds mostly unweathered and from a secure context.
4 Detailed analysis of the site, its stratigraphy, its fauna (mammalian & molluscan) and flora, ecology and environmental implications. Also discussion of 3 hand axes and 2 quartzite pebble flakes and their relative context. The origin of the andesitic tuff is revised with external source deemed likely - lake District on petrological grounds - probably with tools made there and brought in.
5 This report refers to further work at the gravel pit. This includes mention of the discovery, in 2004, of a further andesite handaxe on the Pit floor, by the Pit manager. The Baginton Gravels at this Pit have recently been re-dated to Marine Isotope Stage 13, and together with the sandy organic channel deposits lying below them form part of the Bytham River, which flowed from the Midlands eastwards to East Anglia prior to the Anglian glaciation. This early date makes the artefacts of even greater significance, as it shows unequivocally that handaxe technology in Britain had reached a high point in an occupation period that preceded the Anglian (c.478-423 kyr BP). It also corroborates the observation that quality in Acheulian biface technology is no indication of age; much cruder handaxes may be seen from sites within the range MIS 11 to 6. Subsequently a closer look at the gravels recorded 100 more artefacts. One more andesite handaxe was recorded. The rest of the assemblage was manly comprised of exhausted cores. These finds are from the part of the Pit that does not expose the Bytham channel gravels, thus indicating that the scatter of artefacts is not confined to the channel itself, but spreads laterally away from it. The in situ nature of the deposits is hard to judge; so it is is difficult to ascertain whether this relates to a relatively narrow chronological band, or a palimpsest of activity over hundreds of years.

Source No: 5
Source Type: Article in serial
Title: A Lower Palaeolithic industry from the Cromerian (MIS 13) Baginton Formation of Waverley Wood and Wood Farm Pits, Bubbenhall, Warwickshire, UK
Author/originator: Keen D H, Hardaker T, Lang A O
Date: 2006
Page Number: 457-470
Volume/Sheet: 21.5
Source No: 1
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Current Archaeology
Author/originator: Wise Philip
Page Number: 12-14
Volume/Sheet: 133
Source No: 2
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: The Pleistocene of the West Midlands; Field Guide
Author/originator: Keen D H
Date: 1989
Page Number: 30-33
Source No: 3
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Hand-axes of Andesitic Tuff from Beneath the Standard Wolstonian Succession
Author/originator: Shotton, FW & Wymer JJ
Date: 1989
Page Number: 1-7
Volume/Sheet: No. 10
Source No: 4
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: The Middle Pleistocene deposits of Waveley Wood Pit, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Shotton, FW et al
Date: 1993
Page Number: Pg 293-325
Volume/Sheet: Vol 8
A Palaeolithic handaxe from Bubbenhall
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
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Word or Phrase
period Palaeolithic About 500,000 BC to 10,001 BC

Palaeolithic means 'Old Stone Age'.
It covers a very long period from the first appearance in Britain of tool-using humans (about 500,000 years ago) to the retreat of the glacial ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere (about 12,000 years ago).

Archaeologists divide the period up into the Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, the Lower Palaeolithic being the oldest phase. This period began many, many years after the dinosaurs became extinct (about 65 million years ago). It was during the Palaeolithic period that modern humans replaced Neanderthals, and megafauna, such as woolly mammoths roamed through the landscape.
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monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument HARD * A firm beach or foreshore used for landing and loading of ships and other vessels. In more recent times hards have been reinforced with concrete. back
monument LODGE * A small building, often inhabited by a gatekeeper, gamekeeper or similar. Use specific type where known. back
monument LAKE * A large body of water surrounded by land. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument FLOOR * A layer of stone, brick or boards, etc, on which people tread. Use broader site type where known. back
monument FINDSPOT * The approximate location at which stray finds of artefacts were found. Index with object name. back
monument PIT * A hole or cavity in the ground, either natural or the result of excavation. Use more specific type where known. back
monument FIELD * An area of land, often enclosed, used for cultivation or the grazing of livestock. back
monument GRAVEL PIT * A steep-sided pit formed by, and for, the extraction of gravel. back
monument WOOD * A tract of land with trees, sometimes acting as a boundary or barrier, usually smaller and less wild than a forest. back
monument OCCUPATION SITE * A site showing some signs of occupation but evidence is insufficient to imply permanent settlement. 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

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record