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Monument record MDR7873 - Cropmarks south of Aston-on-Trent, Weston upon Trent

Type and Period (9)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Cursus monument in Weston-upon-Trent parish, showing on aerial photographs. Ditches some 100m apart with possible barows/ring ditches between them. J Pickering photo shows that small rings are not circular although one with a central mark appears close to a barrow. J May excavated a 'square barrow' within the cursus in 1967. (1-4) A number of associated features include two circules and linear features at SK 417 287. (5, 6) At SK 418 288 are three sides of a double-ditched roughly rectangular enclosure, a number of parallel lines and part of another enclosure. (7, 8) Adjacent to it, to the west, is a curvilinear feature. (9, 10) In 1987, small scale excavations were undertaken at the cursus monument at a point where the cursus ditch appeared to be aligned upon, and intersected, a ring ditch, this had significance for the dating of the cursus monument. A trench was excavated to the north-west to locate the cursus-ditch and ring-ditch. The upper fills revealed finds that suggested that the monument was overlain by a Medieval ploughsoil. The cursus ditch was located and measured c. 5m across, but no trace of the ditch of the ring-ditch was located, it was concluded that the cursus-ditch was later than the ring-ditch and consequently had destroyed the earlier monument. A tentative summary of the area enclosed by the ring-ditch is summarised as follows: As aerial photographs suggest, the ring-ditch was the primary feature. In view of the later alignment of the cursus, it is likely that there was a slight mound in the interior of the area. A later phase saw the alignment of the northern ditch of the cursus over a distance of 1,550m, on and around an outer chord of the ring-ditch. This had totally removed the silted ring ditch, and it was perhaps its internal features that were being respected. The destruction of the putative barrow probably did not occur until the Medieval period. Adjacent field boundaries of Iron Age or Romano-British date appear to respect the ring-ditch. Finds were few. Two flint artefacts recovered included a thumb-nail scraper considered to be of Beaker or early Bronze Age date, another scraper was thought to be of Neolithic date. The pottery was, in the main, undecorated, however a sherd of Grimston Ware, a sherd of Grooved Ware and a sherd of Beaker pottery suggest that the cursus ditch had fully silted by c. 1700 - 1600 bc The ring-ditch, which was probably associated with a burial, could be dated with the Grimston Ware sherd, to 2750 bc (+/- 150). (11) Numerous cropmarks were identified and plotted from 20th century aerial photographs. Cropmarks include later prehistoric field boundaries, pit alignments, and curvilinear and rectilinear and circular enclosures, Neolithic barrows and the cursus. Medieval ridge and furrow earthworks were also identified in this area. (12)

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Index: TPAT. TPAT 2108.
  • <2> Aerial Photograph: St Joseph, J K. AFO 42, ADC 87.
  • <3> Aerial Photograph: Pickering, J. 4230/4, JP 11/260 etc..
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: St Joseph, J K. 1966.
  • <5> Index: TPAT. TPAT 2105.
  • <6> Aerial Photograph: Pickering, J. 4128/8-13, JP6/237, 36A/236, 4229/54.
  • <7> Index: TPAT. TPAT 2114.
  • <8> Aerial Photograph: Pickering, J. 4128/10-13, 5/237.
  • <9> Index: TPAT. TPAT 2113.
  • <10> Aerial Photograph: Pickering, J. 4128/10, 11.
  • <11> Bibliographic reference: Gibson, A & Loveday, R. 1989. 'Excavations at the Cursus Monument of Aston upon Trent, Derbyshire' in Midlands Prehistory, ed. A Gibson. BAR British Series 204, pp 27-50.
  • <12> Digital data: Archaeological Research Services (ARS) Ltd. 2009/2010. Aerial Photographic Mapping Survey carried out as part of an Aggregates Resource Project.



Grid reference Centred SK 41926 28720 (711m by 552m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR1736

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Record last edited

May 8 2017 11:57AM

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