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Monument record MDR8068 - Cropmarks to the south of the Trent & Mersey Canal, Weston-upon-Trent

Type and Period (9)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Cropmarks are depicted as linear and square features in the south-west area of the site, there is also a square feature abutting the Trent and Mersey Canal to the north-east of the area. (1) Cartographic research revealed that, in 1844, most of the land was under the control of Robert Wilmot. The fields north of the drainage dyke are variously recorded as 'sandy lands', 'willow beds' and 'osier beds'. Other fields contain the word 'mill', such as 'near great mill dyke'; it is probable that a mill once existed in this area, possibly along the line of the Trent and Mersey Canal. The site also borders an area of concentrated archaeological activity, (Aston Cursus site SMR 22710), and positive identification of anomalies during the geophysical survey may represent the southern extent of the Cursus site. A field walking exercise produced a scatter of prehistoric flintwork (17 pieces), medieval pottery (31 pieces), post-medieval pottery and other artefacts (501 pieces). The flintwork assemblage contained four 'blade' cores which were dateable to the later Mesolithic/ Early Neolithic. The flintwork may be associated with activity on the site dating from the later Mesolithic to the Early-Late Bronze Age . The scatter of medieval and post-medieval pottery may be attributed to manuring and activity during the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal. Radiocarbon dating of three palaeochannels indicate that channel fills, across the site, range in date from the late Glacial to the late Bronze Age. Bore hole and AP studies show that there is a major palaeo-channel, sealed by alluvium, that cuts through the centre of the site. (2) Trial trenching was carried out to coincide with areas where cropmarks were recorded and geophysical anomalies were identified. An Iron Age gully and two Roman ditches were recorded as well as a number of undated ditches and pits. A ditch terminal, which contained a single sherd of Roman pottery, was located to the east of the area. The Iron Age gully contained a large amount of grog-tempered pottery. A near-by ditch contained a single Mancetter-Harshill mortarium base of 2nd-3rd century date; this ditch would appear to be an enclosure ditch or field boundary of Roman date. Six more ditches, five pits and two gullies were also revealed, these may also have been associated with the enclosure, but contained no dating evidence. In the north-west corner of the site an oval pit contained numerous large horse bones and post-medieval pottery and in the north east corner of the site the foundation of a stone wall, or stone drain, was recorded. A main palaeo-channel was located and could be over 150m wide and over 1.5m deep in places. A 40m wide channel was also located to the east of the site. A palaeo-environmental programme identified important information about the changing climate and landuse of the application area. Evidence of natural reforestation has been identified, thought to have taken place in the late Mesolithic period. Radiocarbon dating has confirmed that the beginning of alluviation of this part of the river valley had commenced by the late Bronze Age; alluvial and channel deposits varied in depth from 0.4m to 4.2m. The trench evaluation presents a picture of development of the landscape from the glacial period to Roman times. The evidence for archaeological activity along the northern edge of the site appears to be in the form of Iron Age and Roman farming activity taking place on the gravel terrace bordering the edge of the floodplain. (3) A series of later prehistoric rectilinear enclosures were identified as cropmarks in this area during an aerial photographic mapping survey. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Archive: Whiteley, S. 1989. Aerial Photographic Transcripton Project.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Richmond, A (Phoenix). 2000. Archaeological Contribution to an Environmental Statement, Shardlow Quarry (southern extension) Weston-upon-Trent, Derbyshire. PC145c.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Williams, J (Phoenix). 2002. Archaeological Trench Evaluation, Shardlow Quarry (southern extension) Weston-upon-Trent, Derbyshire.
  • <4> Digital data: Archaeological Research Services (ARS) Ltd. 2009/2010. Aerial Photographic Mapping Survey carried out as part of an Aggregates Resource Project.



Grid reference SK 42142 28676 (point) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR1699
  • EDR1698

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Oct 19 2016 12:34PM

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