Could prehistoric remains be hidden under the streets of Stowmarket?

The dig is taking place behind Chilton playing fields in Stowmarket. Picture: TREVOR CONNICK

The dig is taking place behind Chilton playing fields in Stowmarket. Picture: TREVOR CONNICK - Credit: Archant

An archaeological dig in Stowmarket has been kicked up a notch after researchers discovered items dating back to the prehistoric period.

The excavation, which is taking place just behind Chilton playing fields, is a condition of planning consent for the next phase of the Chilton Leys development.

So far, both prehistoric and medieval archaeology has been identified on the site – which seems to have excited researchers.

A spokesperson for University College London (UCL) confirmed that the dig is a UCL Archaeology South East project.

Trevor Connick, a local resident, said he had noticed the presence of big machinery and the clearing of the area hugely increase in recent weeks.


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“They must have found something there,” he said.

“There has been archaologists in that field for a couple of years, just looking at it. Suddenly, [there are] earth movers and diggers on the site.”

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A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council, which has a department dedicated to archaeological advice, said: “The archaeological excavation is currently taking place as a condition of planning consent for the next phase of the Chilton Leys development.

“So far, prehistoric and medieval archaeology has been identified on the site, once this has been fully investigated and recorded the findings will be made available.

“Notices are going to be put up on the fencing to give people a better idea as to what is going on and what has been found as the work progresses.”

Last year, archaeological excavations carried out from Bawdsey to Bramford in preparation to construct one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms unearthed Roman, Anglo-Saxon and medieval artefacts.

Discoveries included fragments of bronze age cooking pots, a belt buckle from the 10th or 11th century, a wind instrument carved from bone, evidence of defences dug to repel Viking invaders, and parts of 13th century green-glazed face jugs, probably made near King’s Lynn.

Discoveries at one of the sites, just north of Ipswich, indicated a riverside settlement between the Anglo-Saxon to high medieval era.

Back in 2015, traces of Suffolk’s “lost city” were uncovered for the first time in centuries by Cambridge archaeologists, during a nine-day dig at Dunwich.

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