HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Hertfordshire HER & St Albans UAD Result
Hertfordshire HER & St Albans UADPrintable version | About Hertfordshire HER & St Albans UAD | Visit Hertfordshire HER & St Albans UAD online...

If you think this information is inaccurate please e-mail corrections to Hertfordshire HER .

HHER Number:30467
Type of record:Monument


1st century enclosure with substantial ditches, succeeded in the 2nd century by slighter field boundaries abandoned in the 3rd century

Grid Reference:TL 245 342
Map Sheet:TL23SW
Parish:North Hertfordshire (Non Civil Parish), North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Types

  • CESS PIT (Early Roman - 50 AD to 200 AD)
  • DITCH (Early Roman - 50 AD to 200 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Early Roman - 50 AD to 200 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Early Roman - 50 AD to 200 AD)
  • PIT (Early Roman - 50 AD to 200 AD)
  • WELL (Early Roman - 50 AD to 200 AD)

Associated Events

  • Excavation at Baldock railway station, Station Road, Baldock, 2011-12 Thank you for the WSI. (Ref: HN920)
  • Evaluation at Baldock Railway Station, Station Road, Baldock, 2009 (Ref: BAL-HE-BRS09)

Full description

Late Iron Age domestic features [30466] south of Baldock Station were succeeded in the mid-late 1st century by an enclosure bounded by substantial ditches <1, 2>. The northern boundary ditch appeared to have been cleaned out more than once, and the south ditch had been recut. This southern ditch had been 'backfilled in the late Roman period, possibly using earth derived from a late Iron Age cremation cemetery or from a nearby domestic site', to judge by the pottery in this fill.

Two pits and a well also dated to this early Roman period, as did a cess pit containing organic matter at the base, covered by a layer of redeposited chalk. Into this chalk had been dug a late 1st century Hadham greyware jar containing calcined bone, and then the pit had been backfilled; in the fill was a complete Aucissa brooch of mid to late 1st century date, and the pin from another brooch (perhaps a Colchester type). The pottery of this period included no imports, suggesting fairly low status, and there were no coins, but the ditch fills contained several fragments of Roman tile, pieces of burnt wattle and daub, limestone fragments possibly from a flagged floor, and two honestones of non-local stone. Environmental evidence was of an open landscape, possibly with hedges, and with some local crop processing but also short grassland grazed by animals such as sheep. Food included wheat, barley, oats, beans, plum, apple/pear, cattle, sheep, pig, eel, other small fish, oysters, mussels, and probably chickens and eggs <1>.

In the 2nd century a sequence of further ditches was cut across the site. Abraded sherds of late 2nd century pottery in the latest ditches implied that these were field boundaries, domestic use of the site having ceased. The only evidence for later use of the site was a stamped 3rd century Hadham oxidised ware bowl. This agrees with evidence from other sites in Baldock, which indicate that the Roman settlement shrank in size in the late 2nd to 3rd century <1>.

Late Roman coins were found in the previous evaluation <2>; and see [486], Roman features just to the south which continued until at least the 4th century.

<1> Ashworth, Helen, 2012, Baldock railway station, Station Road, Baldock, Herts: archaeological assessment, RNO 3233 (Report). SHT7844.

<2> Wood, Louise, 2009, Baldock Station, Station Road, Baldock, county of Hertfordshire: evaluation report, RNO 3234 (Report). SHT5574.

Sources and further reading

<1>Report: Ashworth, Helen. 2012. Baldock railway station, Station Road, Baldock, Herts: archaeological assessment. Archaeological assessment. RNO 3233.
<2>Report: Wood, Louise. 2009. Baldock Station, Station Road, Baldock, county of Hertfordshire: evaluation report. field evaluation. RNO 3234.