Findings of Archaeological Investigations


Countryside is pleased to give an initial overview of the findings of the archaeological investigations, following the conclusion of the works by Archaeology South-East (ASE), the contracting division of UCL’s Institute of Archaeology Centre for Applied Archaeology.

The findings, which date between 2000BC to 43AD, were uncovered during archaeological investigations in 2021/22, with archaeological project managers, RPS, and archaeologists from UCL’s Archaeology South-East, commissioned by Countryside Partnerships to excavate and record these nationally important artefacts.

The archaeological team discovered evidence for a multi-period settlement, spanning the Bronze Age and Iron Age periods, during excavations on part of the site.

The principal discovery comprised the remains of Iron Age Roundhouses, measuring from 5 to 9 metres. Furthermore, during the excavations of the Roundhouses’ foundations the archaeology team uncovered a preserved Neolithic Tranchet Axe. This discovery was consistent with similar findings in the Blackwater Valley and further evidence an extensive occupied landscape during Britain’s Iron Age.

The archaeology team were also excited to uncover evidence of a Bronze Age settlement. This included a concentration of postholes within a rectangular enclosure, measuring up to 30m long. These were divided into plots with associated fences for livestock control. Alongside this settlement archaeologists were interested to discover the remains of Bronze Age jewellery made from amber, a rare material in Britain at this time.

The artefacts recovered during the excavations are currently under analysis and will provide further details into the specific dates and precise nature of the activity taking place near Heybridge Wood during the Bronze Age and Iron Age periods.

The Archaeological Works were carried out under the supervision of Essex County Council’s Archaeologists. ECC have confirmed that the archaeological works have been completed to their satisfaction, stating that the site has proved archaeologically interesting. There are no additional site works required or archaeological constraints impacting the delivery of the scheme.