Archaeological find on site of Parrott Construction’s development at Walkdens, Ashwell

Archaeologists have uncovered a ceremonial meeting place from Neolithic times on land designated for the construction of 15 new homes at Walkdens, Ashwell, in Hertfordshire.

Parrott Construction have been awarded the contract to design and build the homes for Origin Housing 2 Ltd, and have watched with interest as archaeologists carried out on-site investigations.

A team from Oxford Archaeology East (OAE) exposed an area, which at first appeared to represent a Bronze Age Barrow Burial – a hemispherical mound of earth raised over a burial placed in the middle.

Further investigation work involving the archaeologists fully stripping the site, revealed a gap in the ring ditch surrounding the mound. This revelation led OAE to think they had now uncovered a Neolithic Henge – a ceremonial meeting place – rather than the Bronze Age Barrow Burial as referred to on the site plan.

The Neolithic period immediately preceded the Bronze Age and began c4,000 BC. The period represented the start of settled agricultural communities – before this, people were essentially nomadic hunter/gatherers in the Mesolithic period.

The Local Museum is due to make a visit to site to inspect the archaeological find, and OAE are also expected to monitor the top soil strip from site in case there are any associated features.

Work on the housing development by Parrott Construction is expected to begin shortly.

Site tour 021