Excavation dig uncovers Middle Iron Age village

Pupils from Park Junior School visit the archaeological dig at the newly uncovered Iron Age village. Picture by Keith Heppell

Pupils from Park Junior School visit the archaeological dig at the newly uncovered Iron Age village. Picture by Keith Heppell

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An excavation dig has uncovered an Iron Age village which included a number of dwellings.

The remains of the recently discovered village, in Barton Seagrave, were opened up to the public and a large number of people went to look around the site.

The find was made by Northamptonshire Archaeology, commissioned by Phoenix Consulting on behalf of Redrow Homes which plans to build homes on the land off Polwell Lane.

Since August archaeologists have been excavating evidence and recording their findings, taking photographs and producing scale drawings.

The Middle Iron Age village is believed to have had at least 11 circular timber post structures called round houses. Quantities of pottery, including whole vessels, have been recovered from this period along with animal bone and quern stones for grinding corn.

Carol Simmonds, from Northamptonshire Archaeology, said: “Archaeologically, the site suggests that people lived and farmed there for a long period of time dating from at least the Middle Iron Age [about 400 years BC to 100BC] through to Anglo-Saxon times.”

At least four Anglo-Saxon structures called ‘grubenhaus’ or ‘sunken featured building’ have been found along with pottery, animal bone, worked bone and spindle whorls used in the production of yarn.

More than 100 people attended an open day at the dig to catch a glimpse of the past – as well as 90 children from Park Junior School, in Barton Seagrave.

Tonia Tyler, head of sales at Redrow Homes (South Midlands), said: “We’re glad that local people were able to see the archaeologists in action and picture what life was like in Barton Seagrave all those years ago.

“We hope they will enjoy seeing work progress and homes occupy the site once again.”

Archaeologists will continue to keep an eye on parts of the site when Redrow begins digging foundations.

The first new homes at the development, known at Castlefields, will be released for sale in early 2013.