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Posted - 14th March 19

Fascinating Anglo-Saxon finds discovered in Tidworth

VCP2 archaeology

Recent archaeological investigations undertaken for the Army Basing Programme in Tidworth have revealed important prehistoric and Anglo-Saxon remains.

The remains were unearthed during highways construction works being carried out for the Army Basing Programme (ABP), close to the main entrance of Tidworth camp.

Part of a prehistoric enclosure ditch containing Late Bronze Age (1100 to 700 BC) and Early Iron Age (700 to 400 BC) pottery was identified, along with a sunken-featured building (see photo) dating from the Anglo-Saxon period, which contained Early to Mid-Saxon pottery (AD 410 to 850) and an iron knife.

Ruth Panes, Project Manager for Wessex Archaeology, explained:

“The building remains comprised of a large rectangular pit and two substantial postholes cut into the natural chalk at either end. The holes would once have held timber posts to support a thatched roof. The walls are likely to have been of wood and a planked floor may have covered the pit, forming an air space below the floor and helping to keep the interior dry. The Anglo-Saxon remains are of particular interest as there is only limited evidence for settlement in Tidworth at this time.”

Earlier excavations by Wessex Archaeology revealed a Mid-Saxon cemetery containing the remains of 57 men, women and children, located approximately 700m to the south-east. This was unearthed during ABP works for the Ashdown Estate (east of the A338 Salisbury Road).

Ruth said:

“This cemetery may have been where the inhabitants of the newly-discovered sunken-featured building at VCP2 were buried, on higher ground and in sight of their settlement close to the River Avon below.”

Mark Duddy, ABP Programme Director, added:

“It is fascinating to discover a little of the history of the defence landscape across Salisbury Plain Training Area, as we continue to transform it for the future long-term benefit of soldiers and their families.”

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