What’s happened so far?
2003 - 2008 – Oxford Archaeology East excavated 30 hectares north of Cambridge Road, to the east of St Neots, before the construction of the Love's Farm development. These excavations found middle Iron Age field systems, late Iron Age farmsteads and two major Roman settlements, and thousands of artefacts which revealed how people lived and farmed in the settlements. Download the full report here. Read a summary on the St Neot's Museum website here.
2008 - 2009 – OA East returned to evaluate the archaeological potential of the proposed development area at Wintringham. The work undertaken included a review of past archaeological work within the area, an air photo survey, geophysical survey, field walking and the excavation of 194 trial trenches to see where there was archaeology and what conditions any remains might be in. This confirmed that the pattern of Iron Age and Roman settlement seen at Love's Farm continued south of Cambridge Road, and four main areas were identified for full excavation. Download the report here.
2017 – The first phase of full archaeological excavation at Wintringham took place south of Cambridge Road (site 4i) and was excavated by OA East. This area was farmed in prehistory, initially during the Bronze Age and again during the later Iron Age. Roundhouses indicate that people were living her for a short time in the middle Iron Age. Cambridge Road was originally a Roman road, and some boundary ditches of fields were found next to this road. Download the report here.
2019 - 2020 – OA East excavated an area north of Wintringham brook (site 4), revealing four middle Iron Age settlements. These settlements included timber roundhouses and other wooden structures built within enclosed paddocks along a trackway running north-west to south-east. By far the most common find was burnt stone – hot rocks presumably used for cooking, often found packed into small pits, and a set of loom weights used to hold cloth threads taught for weaving, were found with one roundhouse. Some later Roman tracks and field systems were also mapped, and three isolated early Anglo-Saxon burials were found. Grave goods found with these burials included an antler comb and copper alloy wrist clasp.
2021 – Excavation of site 2 by OA East uncovered a middle Bronze Age cremation cemetery as well as a middle Iron Age settlement beside a trackway. A waterhole or well, 2m deep, was still waterlogged and preserved the lower part of two timber log ladders.
What's happening now?
2021 - 2022 – Oxford Archaeology East are now working on the largest excavation area (site 3) which dates to the middle Iron Age to Roman periods. The work started with the removal of the topsoil and sub-soil with mechanical diggers under direction of archaeologists, to reveal the archaeological features. These will be dug by hand to recover any finds that might give clues about when and why people used this area in the past. The work been approved by the archaeological advisor to Cambridgeshire County Council and will be regularly monitored by them.
What will happen next?
2023 onwards – Once the excavation of site 3 ends and all the finds have been washed and counted, they will be sent to specialists to identify and make recommendations for further analysis, before a full report is written. This will be checked by Cambridgeshire County Council and 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.
OA East will return to Wintringham to excavate the final area (site 1) at a later date.