Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Felixstowe: Archaeologists shed new light on town’s past

07:30 19 August 2013

Archaeologists working on the Walton Green site at Felixstowe - the uncovered evidence of use of the 30-acre field as a place for life, work and death over more than 4,000 years.

Archaeologists working on the Walton Green site at Felixstowe - the uncovered evidence of use of the 30-acre field as a place for life, work and death over more than 4,000 years.

Archant

Excavations on land where developers hope to build a superstore and 200 homes have shown that people have lived and worked on the site for more than 4,000 years.

shares

Archaeologists have found evidence that the Walton Green site at Felixstowe had been occupied by Neolithic families, who would have lived up to 6,000 years ago – between 4000BC and 2500BC.

Later the land was a large burial site with ritual cremations carried out in the Bronze Age, and then lived on and used for farming in the Iron Age, between 800BC and the arrival of the Romans in AD43.

It provides a different view of Felixstowe, widely regarded as a Victorian and Edwardian resort, and before this as a small clifftop settlement with roots stretching back to its time as a Roman military base.

Archaeologists who excavated the 30-acre site in Walton High Street say the area has good potential for helping further research, but it is uncertain whether they will be allowed to carry out a further dig.

The Walton Green Partnership has submitted plans for a 30,000sq ft Tesco supermarket, 200 homes, business units, live/work properties, community building, café and allotments on the land.

In their archaeological evaluation report, Oxford Archaeology describes in detail the finds in each of the 91 trenches dug.

Among the finds were evidence of cremations and burial barrows, along with postholes from buildings, flint blades and tools, and nearly six kg of pottery fragments, most from thousands of years ago.

Archaeologist Jonathan House said: “Of particular archaeological interest was the discovery of elements of a Early/Middle Bronze Age ritual funerary landscape that included a well preserved putative barrow and associated features such as secondary cremations.

“Evidence for an agricultural landscape, along with possible beginnings of settlement in the form of post holes and possible round houses, was also recovered.

“Occupation of the site appears to have continued into the late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age with the presence of at least one settlement area with a good, well preserved assemblage of pottery and other finds directly associated with settlement features.

“Subsequently it appears that low level activity, predominantly agricultural in nature, continued on the site into the Post Medieval period.”

The evidence for ritual funerals during the Bronze Age was of particular significance both locally and at a regional level.

Also of interest was the sudden change from using the land as a place for burials to using it for farming.

Mr House said: “The pit, and the finds of Neolithic date within tree throws, as well as the background scatter of flint objects, may suggest some tree clearance during the period; although it may be more likely that people were utilising the hollows left by uprooted trees or that the open hollows have preserved isolated pockets of material from an otherwise well used landscape.

“In either case it is clear that the landscape was being visited or even settled on at least a transient or seasonal basis.”

shares

2 comments

  • Most definitely. There are plenty of other places in Felixstowe for a supermarket.

    Report this comment

    zaax

    Monday, August 19, 2013

  • Is it worth halting the march of superstore progress just for a few pieces of broken pottery and some old charred bones? I'm not clever enough to answer that question, but these archaeological finds certainly give a boost to the arguments of the anti-Tesco wallahs. In addition, If we want a few dinosaurs to be preserved, can I suggest that the political clubs in Felixstowe and Walton would provide many suitable candidates?

    Report this comment

    cwayconslt

    Monday, August 19, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police attend the scene of a major incident near the train station in Bury st Edmunds on Tuesday 4th August.

Police have arrested three people following a shooting that took place in Bury St Edmunds yesterday evening.

Dhilip Ravichandran in hospital following the collision.

A west Suffolk business is leading a campaign to raise thousands of pounds for urgent medical care for a colleague on the other side of the world whose life is in the balance following a hit and run collision.

Residents in Holland-on-Sea form a working part for flood defences

A ditch and culvert was cleared in a mission to save homes after a number of residents in Keswick Avenue were forced to move out in June when heavy rainfall left them wading around in inches of water.

Police attended to the crash

A driver has suffered minor injuries in a crash with a lorry in Wrentham this morning.

Boxted Cricket Club have been asked to move out of the nearby club house. They know have to resort to using a garage. Pictured is Chairman Tim Berry.

A parish council has declined to comment on claims it has evicted a cricket club from its home of more than 30 years.

Crews attended the fire

Firefighters were called to a fire at a workshop in Gosfield, near Halstead.

Police attend the scene of a major incident near the train station in Bury st Edmunds on Tuesday 4th August.

Police have spoken to reassure residents after a man was shot in the stomach in Bury St Edmunds this evening.

Police remain at the scene of the accident

Police have been called to a head-on crash between two cars in Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds this morning.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

A 60-year-old dangerous driver has admitted clattering into two cars when he got behind the wheel having taken heroin.

Frederico Santa-Barbara of Jacobsen and Neil Cleverly, superintendent of the Rio Olympic Golf Course, with a selection of equipment supplied by Jacobsen for the course ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Two machines built at the Ipswich factory of turf maintenance equipment company Ransomes Jacobsen have been delivered to the Rio Olympic Golf Course in Brazil.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages