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TVAS News: Wexham, Slough

The excavations, on the future site of residential care facilities in Wexham, Slough, have revealed several periods of activity on the site spanning both the prehistoric and historic periods. The most significant discoveries comprise the finding of an Middle Iron Age enclosure with single internal roundhouse, and two post-built hall houses of Early Saxon date. Roman activity was limited to a single ditch, possibly one or two pits and postholes, and residual pottery finds. One or two rolled struck flints derived from the underlying gravel are possibly of Palaeolithic date. The Middle Iron Age enclosure is an unusual discovery as similar monument types for this period are either absent for the region or known only for poorly documented sites. As a monument type, they are not common or typical for the period as a whole. The site may also take on added significance for providing evidence of an extension to the chronology of post-Deverel-Rimbury pottery in the region beyond its usual 5th century BC end-date. By way of contrast the Saxon structures, whilst typical of one form of Saxon site for this period, with doubtless many more similar sites to be found, are of interest here due to their rarity in this region.

Carbon-14 dates were obtained from environmental samples that were collected from excavated features. These enabled us to give approximate dates to the Middle Iron Age enclosure (Ditch 101, terminal 232), the Middle Iron Age roundhouse (Structure 104, posthole 220) and both Early Saxon post-built hall houses (Structure 102, posthole 301 and Structure 103, posthole 405). The results were as follows (see the plan to the left for the locations of the features):

Charcoal, Structure 104, posthole 400

Calibrated ages (Two Sigma Range): cal BC 602–413
Probability: 52.5%

Charcoal, Ditch 101, terminal 232

Calibrated ages (Two Sigma Range): cal BC 362–270
Probability: 56.3%

Charcoal, Structure 102, posthole 301

Calibrated ages (Two Sigma Range): cal AD 550–643
Probability: 95.4%

Charcoal, Structure 103, posthole 40

Calibrated ages (Two Sigma Range): cal AD 505–595
Probability: 59.1%

Click on the image thumbnails below for larger versions:

Plan of the site. Panorama of the site from the north showing the enclosure in the foreground and one of the Saxon hall houses marked by wooden pegs.

View of the Iron Age enclosure and roundhouse from the south-east. View of one of the Saxon hall houses (Structure 103) from the east.

Excavation of pottery from the enclosure area. Excavation of pottery from the enclosure area.