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  • LOWER BROOK FARM WORMINGHALL

    AYLESBURY BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

    ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVALUATION

    For

    SAVILLS LTD

    on behalf of

    JAMES COX

    CA PROJECT: 3163 CA REPORT: 10142

    AUGUST 2010

  • LOWER BROOK FARM WORMINGHALL

    AYLESBURY BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

    ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVALUATION

    CA PROJECT: 3163 CA REPORT: 10142

    prepared by David Parry, Project Supervisor

    date 5 August 2010

    checked by Cliff Bateman, Project Manager

    date 24 August 2010

    approved by Mark Collard, Head of Contracts

    signed

    date 26 August 2010

    issue 01

    This report is confidential to the client. Cotswold Archaeology accepts no responsibility or liability to any third party to whom this report, or any part of it, is made known. Any such party relies upon this report entirely

    at their own risk. No part of this report may be reproduced by any means without permission.

    Cotswold Archaeology Building 11, Kemble Enterprise Park, Kemble, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 6BQ

    Tel. 01285 771022 Fax. 01285 771033 E-mail: enquiries@cotswoldarch.org.uk

  • Cotswold Archaeology Lower Brook Farm, Worminghall, Bucks.: Archaeological Evaluation

    CONTENTS

    SUMMARY........................................................................................................................ 2

    1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 3

    2. RESULTS (FIG. 2) ............................................................................................... 5

    3. DISCUSSION....................................................................................................... 6

    4. CA PROJECT TEAM ........................................................................................... 6

    5. REFERENCES .................................................................................................... 7

    APPENDIX A: CONTEXT DESCRIPTIONS ..................................................................... 8 APPENDIX B: THE FINDS ............................................................................................... 9 APPENDIX C: OASIS REPORT FORM............................................................................ 10

    LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Fig. 1 Site location plan (1:25,000)

    Fig. 2 Trench location plan, showing archaeological features (1:250)

    Fig. 3 Photograph: Trench 1, looking south-east

    Fig. 4 Photograph: Trench 1, looking north-west

    1

  • Cotswold Archaeology Lower Brook Farm, Worminghall, Bucks.: Archaeological Evaluation

    SUMMARY

    Project Name: Lower Brook Farm Location: Worminghall, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire NGR: SP 6437 0823 Type: Evaluation Date: 3-4 August 2010 Location of Archive: Buckinghamshire County Museum Site Code: LBW 10

    An archaeological evaluation was undertaken by Cotswold Archaeology in August 2010 at

    Lower Brook Farm, Worminghall, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Two trenches were

    excavated.

    Two ditches containing finds dating to the post-medieval/modern period were excavated and

    recorded during the evaluation. No medieval features or artefacts were exposed.

    2

  • Cotswold Archaeology Lower Brook Farm, Worminghall, Bucks.: Archaeological Evaluation

    1. INTRODUCTION

    1.1 In August 2010 Cotswold Archaeology (CA) carried out an archaeological evaluation

    for Savills Ltd on behalf of Mr James Cox at Lower Brook Farm, Worminghall,

    Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (centred on NGR: SP 6437 0823; Fig. 1). The

    evaluation was undertaken at the request of Buckinghamshire County Archaeology

    Service (BCAS), archaeological advisor to Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC),

    prior to submission of a planning application for the erection of a single dwelling.

    1.2 The evaluation was carried out in accordance with a brief for archaeological

    evaluation (BCAS 2010) and with a subsequent detailed Written Scheme of

    Investigation (WSI) produced by CA (2010) and approved by Eliza Alqassar (BCAS).

    The fieldwork also followed the Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Field

    Evaluation issued by the Institute of Field Archaeologists (2008), the Management of

    Archaeological Projects (English Heritage 1991) and the Management of Research

    Projects in the Historic Environment (MORPHE): Project Managers Guide (EH 2006).

    It was monitored by Eliza Alqassar, including a site visit on 4 August 2010.

    The site

    1.3 The site occupies an area of approximately 300m2 and lies towards the eastern

    edge of the village of Worminghall (Fig. 2). It is bounded to the west by a road

    known as The Avenue, to the north and south by domestic dwellings, and to the east

    by Lower Brook Farm. The area is currently grassed and contains a number of trees

    planted some 50 years ago (James Cox pers. comm.). The site lies at approximately

    60m AOD, the ground sloping down towards the south east.

    1.4 The underlying solid geology of the area is mapped as Limestone Marls in the west

    with Kimmeridge Clay to the south-east (BGS 1994), both of which were observed in

    the evaluation.

    Archaeological background

    1.5 Archaeological interest in the site relates to its location within the historic core of

    Worminghall, a historic green-edge village. Worminghall was a substantial village at

    the time of the Domesday survey and later, in the early 14th century, it held a market

    and a fair. The issuing of market grants in 1304, at which time the green might have

    been created in a planned extension including a market place, coupled with

    3

  • Cotswold Archaeology Lower Brook Farm, Worminghall, Bucks.: Archaeological Evaluation

    extensive earthworks recorded on the Countys Historic Environment Record

    suggests settlement reorganisation or shrinkage (HER number 02041). This points

    to the possibility that Worminghall might be seen as an example of a failed attempt

    to create a medieval town. By the late 18th century Jeffries county map shows a

    nucleated green-based village plan.

    1.6 The village has been assessed as potentially of national archaeological importance

    by English Heritages Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological evaluations

    previously undertaken at The Old Rectory and at No. 18 The Avenue, to the north-

    west of the current site identified pits, gullies, ditches and a possible buried soil.

    Finds included both medieval pottery and slag (HER numbers 08040 08385).

    1.7 The proposed development area is adjacent to No. 55 The Avenue which is a Grade

    II listed, late medieval timber-framed house altered in the 17th century, whilst

    opposite the development lies No. 38-42 The Avenue, a 17th century Grade II listed

    house. It is therefore possible that medieval or post-medieval remains could survive

    on site.

    Archaeological objectives

    1.8 The objectives of the evaluation were to gather sufficient information to generate a

    reliable predictive model of the extent, character, date, state of preservation and depth

    of burial of important archaeological remains within the area of study. Specifically, to

    identify and characterise any evidence for medieval occupation and identify the

    potential for deposits to contribute to our understanding of how Worminghall developed

    as a village, and the hypothesis that Worminghall represents a failed town.

    Methodology

    1.9 The fieldwork comprised the excavation of two trenches in the locations shown on

    the attached plan (Fig. 2). Trench locations were determined on site due to

    restrictions imposed by the dense tree coverage. CA guidance was followed for best

    practice with regard to protection of trees, in line with the principles of BS5837:

    2005: Trees in Relation to Construction. As far as possible, trenches were

    excavated within the footprint of the proposed development. Trench 1 measured

    22.4m in length and 1.25m in width. It was initially excavated as two separate

    trenches but these were joined together in order to clarify the identified deposits.

    Approximately 2m of the total length was not fully excavated due to the presence of

    4

  • Cotswold Archaeology Lower Brook Farm, Worminghall, Bucks.: Archaeological Evaluation

    a large tree root. Trench 2 measured 2.30m in length and 1.25m in width. It was

    limited in length by the presence of a sewer pipe running across the site.

    1.10 All trenches were excavated by mechanical excavator equipped with a toothless

    grading bucket. All machine excavation was undertaken under constant

    archaeological supervision to the top of the first significant archaeological horizon or

    the natural substrate, whichever was encountered first. Where archaeological

    deposits were encountered they were excavated by hand in accordance with CA

    Technical Manual 1: Fieldwork Recording Manual (2007).

    1.11 Deposits were assessed for their palaeoenvironmental potential in accordance with

    CA Technical Manual 2: The Taking and Processing of Environmental and Other

    Samples from Archaeological Sites (2003) and no deposits were identified that

    required sampling. All artefacts recovered were processed in accordance with CA

    Technical Manual 3: Treatment of Finds Immediately After Excavation (1995).

    1.12 The archive and artefacts from the evaluation are currently held by CA at their

    offices in Kemble. Th

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