Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

Felixstowe: Archaeologists shed new light on town’s past

07:30 19 August 2013

Archaeologists working on the Walton Green site at Felixstowe - the uncovered evidence of use of the 30-acre field as a place for life, work and death over more than 4,000 years.

Archaeologists working on the Walton Green site at Felixstowe - the uncovered evidence of use of the 30-acre field as a place for life, work and death over more than 4,000 years.

Archant

Excavations on land where developers hope to build a superstore and 200 homes have shown that people have lived and worked on the site for more than 4,000 years.

shares

Archaeologists have found evidence that the Walton Green site at Felixstowe had been occupied by Neolithic families, who would have lived up to 6,000 years ago – between 4000BC and 2500BC.

Later the land was a large burial site with ritual cremations carried out in the Bronze Age, and then lived on and used for farming in the Iron Age, between 800BC and the arrival of the Romans in AD43.

It provides a different view of Felixstowe, widely regarded as a Victorian and Edwardian resort, and before this as a small clifftop settlement with roots stretching back to its time as a Roman military base.

Archaeologists who excavated the 30-acre site in Walton High Street say the area has good potential for helping further research, but it is uncertain whether they will be allowed to carry out a further dig.

The Walton Green Partnership has submitted plans for a 30,000sq ft Tesco supermarket, 200 homes, business units, live/work properties, community building, café and allotments on the land.

In their archaeological evaluation report, Oxford Archaeology describes in detail the finds in each of the 91 trenches dug.

Among the finds were evidence of cremations and burial barrows, along with postholes from buildings, flint blades and tools, and nearly six kg of pottery fragments, most from thousands of years ago.

Archaeologist Jonathan House said: “Of particular archaeological interest was the discovery of elements of a Early/Middle Bronze Age ritual funerary landscape that included a well preserved putative barrow and associated features such as secondary cremations.

“Evidence for an agricultural landscape, along with possible beginnings of settlement in the form of post holes and possible round houses, was also recovered.

“Occupation of the site appears to have continued into the late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age with the presence of at least one settlement area with a good, well preserved assemblage of pottery and other finds directly associated with settlement features.

“Subsequently it appears that low level activity, predominantly agricultural in nature, continued on the site into the Post Medieval period.”

The evidence for ritual funerals during the Bronze Age was of particular significance both locally and at a regional level.

Also of interest was the sudden change from using the land as a place for burials to using it for farming.

Mr House said: “The pit, and the finds of Neolithic date within tree throws, as well as the background scatter of flint objects, may suggest some tree clearance during the period; although it may be more likely that people were utilising the hollows left by uprooted trees or that the open hollows have preserved isolated pockets of material from an otherwise well used landscape.

“In either case it is clear that the landscape was being visited or even settled on at least a transient or seasonal basis.”

shares

2 comments

  • Most definitely. There are plenty of other places in Felixstowe for a supermarket.

    Report this comment

    zaax

    Monday, August 19, 2013

  • Is it worth halting the march of superstore progress just for a few pieces of broken pottery and some old charred bones? I'm not clever enough to answer that question, but these archaeological finds certainly give a boost to the arguments of the anti-Tesco wallahs. In addition, If we want a few dinosaurs to be preserved, can I suggest that the political clubs in Felixstowe and Walton would provide many suitable candidates?

    Report this comment

    cwayconslt

    Monday, August 19, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A body has been found in a flat in The Street in Bramford.

Flowers have been left near the home of a man found dead in Bramford yesterday.

There were 7,365 admissions to Suffolks two main hospitals in 2014/15 where obesity was the main reason for a person being admitted or was a secondary factor. Photo: PA.

Obesity levels are worse in Suffolk than every London borough, a new report revealing the growing challenges facing the county’s health chiefs has shown.

USAF fighter planes from RAF Lakenheath taken from a C130 Hercules

Almost £250,000 has been paid out in compensation for damage, injuries and loss of livestock caused by low flying military aircraft in East Anglia over the past five years, figures show.

Pupils and Students outside Bealings Primary School where they are planning to boycott classes next Tuesday as a protest against SATS.

A group of parents from Suffolk are planning to take their children out of school for the day in a show of protest against SATs exams.

Dr Krissie Wilson, a UCS on Ipswich Waterfront

Why do people believe in so many weird things?

Three arrests in rogue trader inquiry

Three suspected doorstep conmen have been arrested in Ipswich after residents at two addresses reported rogue traders calling on them.

Engineers will be carrying out more work on the main line over the bank holiday.

The main rail line between London and East Anglia will be closed again on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday as Network Rail engineers carry out more work in the Shenfield area.

File picture of an Abellio Greater Anglia train.

A person has been killed by a train at Romford station, British Transport Police has confirmed.

Tom Boother is running from Land's End to John O'Groats in aid of EACH and Great Ormond Street. Marquis Suffolk is lending Tom a motorhome for him to sleep in during the challenge.

Tom’s charity challenge - running 816 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats

Stock image of police road closed sign.

A Suffolk woman has died during car crash which left a man and a baby in hospital.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24