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Geophysical Survey and Fieldwalking by ASC Ltd
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distribution of slag finds at WakerleyIn November 2004 ASC Ltd carried out a fieldwalking survey over 130ha of land in advance of quarrying to the west of Wakerley, Northamptonshire. A light scatter of pottery ranging in date from the prehistoric to medieval period was identified in the northern part of the site, with two discernable concentrations towards the eastern side of the site. A general spread of post 18th century pottery and tile was also identified, probably related to agricultural activities and rubbish tipping. A light scatter of worked flint was also identified across the site. Like the pottery some concentrations were recorded but none of the walked 20m stints produced more than two flints.

In the past Rockingham Forest was a major iron producing area. Previous excavations in the Forest have identified furnaces dating from the Iron Age through to the medieval period utilising the local Ironstone. The fieldwalking at Wakerley identified a significant quantity of iron working residues including furnace base and tap slags, both of which are indications that iron was being produced on the site. Three concentrations of these slags were identified, and it can be expected that several furnaces lie buried in these areas.

Prior to the fieldwalking a desk-based assessment and geophysical survey were undertaken. The geophysical survey confirmed the results of the fieldwalking and a number of enclosures and areas of iron working were identified.

Hawker Hunter
Hawker Hunter
The area was also of interest due to the presence of structures constructed during the Second World War. The west side of the proposal area comprises part of the site of the former Spanhoe Airfield, which was constructed in 1943-4. The main airfield buildings were situated beyond the west side of the proposal site and are currently used by aeroplane enthusiasts.
brick built buildings at Wakerley
brick-built buildings in the middle of the site

A large part of one of the runways and the perimeter road were situated in the west part of the proposal site and two brick built buildings, which date to this period, are situated in the central part of the site.

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