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Watching Brief and Salvage Recording by ASC Ltd
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plan of Kings SuttonDuring 2004 an archaeological watching brief and salvage recording were undertaken at 16-18 Wales Street, Kings Sutton, Northamptonshire by Archaeological Services and Consultancy Ltd. The scheme comprised a housing development on the north side of Wales Street and a flood alleviation scheme further to the north.

The excavation of service runs for the new houses was monitored, but no archaeological remains were observed. The stripping of the footprint for the flood alleviation scheme was also monitored and significant archaeological remains were observed during the initial soil stripping. A salvage excavation was mounted and a comparatively rare example of a middle Iron Age settlement was rapidly recorded, but the planning condition meant that only a limited programme of archaeological salvage was possible. Accordingly, what was observed and recorded represented only the most obvious of archaeological features.

The site comprised enclosure ditches, a droveway, two possible circular buildings, pits, post-holes, gullies and a kiln/hearth. A rubble spread, which probably formed the foundation for a 19th century building was also present.


flints from Kings Sutton
flints found at Kings Sutton

The limitations imposed by the salvage recording programme prevented the collection of a large finds assemblage, but a variety of artefacts were collected. A small assemblage of worked flint dating to the Mesolithic/early Neolithic periods was recorded. The remaining artefacts dated to the Iron Age and comprised animal bone and a small assemblage of middle Iron Age pottery.

fired clay fragments
fragments of fired clay, possibly from a kiln

Significant evidence for iron smelting was also recorded. This comprised fragments of fired clay, some with impressions of wood and may have been from the structure of a kiln. An area of burnt clay, possibly a kiln or hearth was identified in the south part of the site. A fragment of a crucible was recovered from the fill of one of the enclosure ditches and further fragments of iron slag were found in the northern part of the site.

Site report courtesy of Archaeological Services and Consultancy Ltd (2004)