Grange Farm is surrounded by a large number of archaeological sites. These include the route of the Roman road of Ermine Street and nearby Roman settlements and burial monuments. Earlier prehistoric sites are present, and the area has important medieval remains including the nationally important remains of a moated enclosure at Prestley Wood.
The Cambridge office of Oxford Archaeology have been investigating the archaeology of the former Alconbury Airfield and the surrounding area for over twenty years, revealing archaeological remains spanning the Middle Bronze Age to post-Medieval periods.
You can learn more about the rich heritage of the area in Alconbury Weald Stories, a podcast series from Urban&Civic exploring the narratives emerging from this special place. The second episode, narrated by Raksha Dave, is called ‘Weald Origins’ and features interviews with OA's archaeologists.
Grange Farm was evaluated for its archaeological potential by archaeologists at the Canbridge office of OA. A total of 84 trial trenches, measuring 2m wide by 50m long, were dug and over two-thirds contained archaeological features. This work identified a landscape of Middle to Late Iron Age date, with three small, scattered settlements in the north-west, centre and south-east parts of the investigation area. A probable Early Romano-British field system was also found in the northern and southern parts of the investigation area. A large pond, probably post-Medieval, was found close to Grange Farm itself.
OA returned to Grange Farm to open an area of Iron Age settlement identified during the evaluation. The topsoil and sub-soil were removed with mechanical diggers under the direction of archaeologists. The underlying archaeological features were dug by hand to recover artefacts and record any evidence for when and why people used these areas in the past.
What's happening now?
With the Autumn excavations complete, we are now working on washing, weighing and cataloguing the recovered artefacts, before sending them on for specialist analysis. A report on the findings will be written by OA, and checked by Cambridgeshire County Council, before being submitted to the county’s Historic Environment Record. The records and finds will be deposited with Cambridgeshire County Council, to be accessible to researchers and the public.
Meet the Team
Andy graduated from the University of York in 2007 with a BA in Archaeology. He joined Oxford Archaeology in 2012, and currently serves as a Senior Project Manager. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA).
In his current role, Andy oversees excavations on site, and also coordinates post-excavation work and reporting. As a Project Officer he directed a wide range of fieldwork projects including significant excavations of a large high status Iron Age settlement at Cressing, Braintree and part of a Roman roadside settlement in Bishop’s Stortford along with medieval and post-medieval excavations in Huntingdon, Norwich and Cambridge.
Nick graduated from the University of Bradford in 2008 with a BSc in Archaeology and has since worked for a number of archaeological units in the south and east of England. He joined OA East in 2011, and has subsequently worked on a broad range of sites and periods throughout East Anglia, including the Great Fen Spitfire project. His current role involves directing excavation on site and writing reports in the post-excavation phase, recent work has included large excavations of Iron Age and Roman activity in Essex and large and small evaluations throughout Cambridgeshire.
Clemency develops and supports all educational and community work across Oxford Archaeology involving volunteers, educational institutions and the general public. She is a member of the company-wide Communications Team and promotes wellbeing at work initiatives as a Mental Health First Aider. She has worked in archaeological outreach since 2010 and has a MSc in Landscape Archaeology from the University of Oxford.