Housing developments require tight programming, budget control and, above all, good communication with the client and other sub-contractors involved in the project. This is a sector Headland has a lot of experience in, best demonstrated through our repeat business with house-builders and their consultants.
Headland was engaged to excavate archaeological features in targeted areas of the development to a scheme designed by the client’s consultants, the Environmental Dimension Partnership. Three separate developers were involved in the project and each had priority areas to clear early in the programme. A small team of experienced archaeologists monitored two teams of excavators and dumpers for four weeks, stripping a total of 6.8 ha in six separate areas. A team of up to 10 archaeologists then worked for 11 weeks to clear defined mitigation areas prior to the first houses being built on the site.
The programme was designed to release areas of land for building in a sequence that allowed the clients to construct their access and show-homes early in the process. This required good communication with the clients’ consultant and the archaeological advisor to confirm which areas had been excavated to the required standard. Close communication with the clients’ contractors was then needed to ensure that they worked only within the signed-off areas.
The excavation work uncovered a group of rectangular ditched enclosures of Bronze Age date, a very unusual find for Gloucestershire, where most known Bronze Age sites relate to burial and ritual practices. They may have been defensive in nature, or connected to stock management; there was also evidence of occupation in the form of a possible round house, and evidence for animal butchery. Also present on the site was a scatter of Iron Age pits and post-holes, associated with shallow linear features thought to form part of an Iron Age or Romano-British field system.
Post-excavation work is currently in progress by our in-house specialists; a publication will be produced in 2016.