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Contents for volume 136 (2018)
Dedication to Richard ReeceNeil Holbrook13-18
Francis Haverfield's 'Roman Cirencester': Then and NowNeil Holbrook19-32

In 1920 Francis Haverfield, the foremost scholar of Roman Britain of his generation, posthumously published a paper entitled 'Roman Cirencester' in the journal Archaeologia. Haverfield had died the previous year aged 58. This paper considers the background to Haverfield’s study of Cirencester, and evaluates its conclusions on the origin, plan, character and end of the Roman town. In many respects Haverfield’s study stands up well a century on, and his characteristic attention to detail is evident. Haverfield’s paper is notable as the first systematic review of the archaeology of Roman Cirencester and deserves to be remembered.

Excavation of a Burnt Mound at Autumn BrookChristopher Leonard, Jonathan Hart & Sarah Cobain33-42

Excavation in 2013 revealed a burnt mound, the first to be discovered in South Gloucestershire. The mound was up to 20 m in extent and comprised two distinct layers. Several troughs were found with the mound, all consisting of unlined pits, though one had been lined with clay when it was reused. Finds from the mound consisted of a Bronze Age flint scraper and a few scraps of animal bone; charcoal from fuelwood was also found. Radiocarbon dates from the middle of the 2nd millennium BC were obtained from the mound and the trough fills, indicating probably episodic use during the middle Bronze Age. Later remains included a Roman drainage ditch and at least one Anglo-Saxon pit, the latter radiocarbon dated to cal. AD 718–889.

Later Bronze Age Occupation at Stow Camp, Stow-on-the-WoldAndrew Powell43-54

An excavation on the eastern side of the later prehistoric hilltop enclosure at Stow Camp, Stowon- the-Wold, revealed a possible occupation deposit overlying a remnant of the enclosure’s bank, close to what may have been its east-facing entrance. The deposit contained pottery of probable late Bronze Age date, and animal bone (mostly cattle, with some pig), a sample of which provided a radiocarbon date that falls on the middle to late Bronze Age transition, and which is consistent with two other radiocarbon dates obtained during earlier excavations at the enclosure. The variable dating evidence may reflect the fact that the suggested later Bronze Age enclosure was subsequently encompassed by the defences of an early Iron Age hillfort.

Bronze Age, Roman and Second World War Airfield Remains at the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh: Excavations in 2011 and 2014Jonathan Hart & Thomas Weavill55-66

Excavation within part of a former airfield and Fire Service College discovered a middle Palaeolithic handaxe, the second such discovery in the vicinity in recent times. A Neolithic flint core was also discovered. A number of features dating to the middle Bronze Age included a grave, a trough and several pits, loosely focused on a possible pond. A second trough was found to the north. These remains appear to reflect funerary and ritual activities on the site, and are discussed with reference to settlements of this period found nearby at Blenheim Farm and Todenham Road. During the Roman period the site lay within agricultural land, and this was also the case through the medieval and later periods until the construction of the airfield in 1939. Remains associated with the airfield were recorded and evidence that a wartime aerial photograph had been doctored during the Cold War was noted.

Iron Age and Roman Farming South of Gloucester: Excavations at Sellars Farm, Hardwicke in 2012–13 and Mayo's Land, Quedgeley in 2014Jonathan Hart & Richard Massey67-82

Excavations at Sellars Farm and Mayo’s Land in the Hardwicke/Quedgeley vicinity of the Severn Vale found evidence that this area was used for farming, probably pastoral, during the late Iron Age and early Roman period. After the Roman Conquest, a series of regular land units was set out at Sellars Farm, perhaps representing cadastration (planned Roman land division), whilst at Mayo’s Land, an Iron Age settlement was abandoned in advance of the creation of a rectilinear double-ditched enclosure. The function of the latter is uncertain, but, following disuse, it was the setting for the burial of an adult male who may have been mutilated and executed. The date of this burial is uncertain. A second isolated burial at Sellars Farm was radiocarbon dated to the 11th to 12th centuries AD. A small amount of evidence for the transient use of this area during the later Mesolithic/early Neolithic period was also found at both locations.

Excavation of Late Iron Age and Roman Enclosures and Medieval to Post-Medieval Features at Highfield Farm, Tetbury, 2015 and 2016Nicky Garland & Daniel Stansbie83-90

A phased programme of archaeological excavation was undertaken by Cotswold Archaeology between April 2015 and September 2016 at Highfield Farm, Tetbury. The excavation provided evidence for the construction and use of three enclosures, which probably dated to the late Iron Age/Roman transition and were probably either settlement or stock enclosures, although their interiors were largely devoid of evidence for occupation. Ceramic dating evidence suggests that the enclosures had gone out of use by the late Roman period, and the presence of medieval or post-medieval plough furrows, medieval quarry pits and a post-medieval boundary ditch suggests that the area was ploughed from the medieval period and continued in agricultural use until the present day.

Roman Industrial Activity at Western Way, Dymock: Excavations in 2013Katherine Crooks & George Children91-116

A programme of geophysical survey, field evaluation and excavation was undertaken by Border Archaeology in 2013 at Western Way Dymock. A number of ditches were revealed crossing the site, together with possible pits and postholes sealed by a post-Roman plough-soil and evidence of small-scale industrial activity, which developed during the 1st to early 2nd century AD and declined in the later 2nd century, reflecting a pattern of activity identified elsewhere in Dymock. Little pottery was found dating to the 3rd century or later, possibly reflecting a shift of settlement focus to the north and west. A ‘pit’ feature [1046] dated to the late 1st to early 2nd centuries AD was interpreted as a possible surface-built kiln, although the evidence remained inconclusive. Substantial amounts of iron slag were found, but this could not be related directly to evidence for iron-smelting. Similarly, the very small amounts of hammerscale found in samples from two postholes was insufficient to confirm the presence of smithing. Both slag and the hammerscale may have derived from the known metalworking activity at Kyrleside, which adjoins the site to the north.

The Landscape of Hucclecote Roman Villa: Excavations at Mayfield Place, Churchdown Lane, Gloucester, 2014-16Cai Mason117-60

In 2014-16 Wessex Archaeology undertook a phased programme of archaeological work, comprising evaluation, excavation and watching brief, of a 1.3-hectare plot at Mayfield Place, Churchdown Lane, Hucclecote. The site was located 30 m to the south of Hucclecote Roman villa and the majority of the archaeological remains date from this period. Evidence of prehistoric activity was restricted to residual finds of worked flint, including a Mesolithic/early Neolithic blade and a Neolithic arrowhead, and a very small quantity of Bronze Age and Iron Age pottery. The Roman remains included a coaxial field system, pitting and a metaled trackway that provided access to the villa from Ermin Street. There were no certain pre-2nd-century AD features on the site, and most of the remains appear to date from the 3rd or 4th century, a significant proportion of which date from the late 4th century. One of the pits contained a hoard of 13 copper-alloy coins, the latest of which provides a terminus post quem of AD 321 for its deposition. A large pit containing a near-complete organic-tempered vessel dating from the 6th century AD or later, provides evidence for Anglo-Saxon activity near Hucclecote villa. Further evidence for continuity of activity was provided by the concordance between the alignments of the late Roman enclosures and the furrows of a medieval field system.

Grain Processing in and around Roman Cirencester. What can the Querns and Millstones tell us about Supply to the Roman Town?Ruth Shaffrey161-70

Using the best evidence for the existence of mills – the millstones themselves – this paper looks at where the flour for Roman Cirencester might have been processed. It focuses on the large assemblages of millstones from Ashton Keynes, Frocester, Claydon Pike and Vineyards Farm. It investigates how grain processing might have been organized around the town and shows how what was happening inside a town was closely connected to what was happening in its hinterland. It reveals how informative a study of millstone distribution can be for investigating urban food supply and rural agricultural organization.

A Search for Churchdown's First Medieval Chapel: Excavations at Chapel Hay in 2013Michael Philpott171-96

This report details the results of the Gloucestershire Archaeology research excavation at the rear of the Churchdown Club grounds, Churchdown, together with the geophysical survey results for Chapel Hay Recreation Ground, which is adjacent to the excavation site. During excavation a number of articulated inhumations were discovered, two of which have been radiocarbon dated, to give a possible date range for the site from late 8th to mid 11th centuries AD. The current evidence, from this and a 1923 excavation within the same grounds, suggests an enclosed inhumation cemetery used for the burial of the local inhabitants of the early vill of Churchdown, influenced possibly by Christian burial ritual. The geophysical survey results have revealed subsurface anomalies that, when considered together with the excavation results from this and the previous three excavations, suggest the presence of the remains of a now-forgotten early structure in the vicinity of Chapel Hay.

The Anglo-Saxon Church of St Mary, Deerhurst: A Reassessment of the Early Structural HistoryMichael Hare197-236

In this paper, the early structural history of St Mary’s church, Deerhurst, is considered. Various studies since the middle of the 20th century have seen the church as a complex building with a number of separate constructional periods. An alternative hypothesis is proposed here. It is suggested that a case can be made that all the standing Anglo-Saxon fabric in the building belongs to a single period of construction, probably of early 9th-century date; there were modifications of later Anglo-Saxon date to this building involving the insertion of new features in the early fabric, but little, if any, standing walling of later Anglo-Saxon date can be identified.

Robert Gyen of Bristol: A 14th-Century Merchant, Crown Official and Swindler ExtraordinaireRobin McCallum & James Davis237-50

This article traces the career, fortunes, and spectacular downfall of Robert Gyen, an early 14thcentury Bristol merchant. In many ways, Gyen’s career encapsulated much about the rising status of the mercantile class in late medieval England. Gyen was a man who carved a reputation as a successful international merchant involved in the export of wool and import of wine. He invested much of his vast personal wealth in the development of large rural estates, thus striving to enter the ranks of the gentry. His wealth ultimately enabled him to emerge as a leading figure in Bristol’s civic government, as well as a Crown official in the West Country. At the height of his career, he advanced considerable sums of money to Edward III in the form of loans to finance military campaigns in France. Gyen seemed to be the epitome of an enterprising and prosperous merchant at a time when the mercantile élite of England were beginning to assert their commercial and political weight. Yet, there was a dark secret behind his rise to prominence that was only revealed by a royal investigation in 1352. Ultimately, for contemporaries, Gyen might have represented the perceived moral anxieties concerning commercial practice and wealth. Behind a façade of prosperity, he was instead the embodiment of pulpit warnings about mercantile inclinations towards avarice and fraud.

Sea and Spa: The Two Careers of Captain Henry Skillicorne (1678/9-1763)James Hodsdon251-62

Henry Skillicorne (1678/9–1763) is chiefly remembered as the retired Bristol sea-captain who in 1738 arrived in Cheltenham and set about transforming a modest mineral well into the centrepiece of a fashionable resort. His enduring place in the history of Cheltenham owes much to the minibiography set out at remarkable length on his memorial tablet, erected c.1803 in the parish church, and often reproduced. It may seem churlish to probe such a full and public record, erected as an act of filial piety under the will of his son William, but it was drafted 30 years after Henry’s death, and investigation shows it is neither complete nor wholly accurate. This article uses a fuller range of documentary records to give a more rounded account of his origins and sea career, how he came to have an interest in Cheltenham, and how he defended that interest when opposed. The new information leaves Skillicorne’s reputation undented, indeed in some respects enhanced.

Daniel Defoe on Bristol: The Description of the City in A Tour thro' Great Britain and its ContextPat Rogers263-78

The account of Bristol in the second volume of Daniel Defoe’s Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain (1725) is the most frequently cited of all contemporary descriptions of Bristol as the city consolidated its power and mercantile influence. However, it has never been properly edited or set in its full historical context. This article aims to provide a detailed analysis of the entry, with annotation of textual references relating to the economic, political, social, religious and architectural development of the city (observations in the text are glossed by reference to modern scholarship). It seeks to identify the sources of Defoe’s knowledge of Bristol, firstly disposing of some untrustworthy legends regarding his contacts in the city with the mariner Alexander Selkirk, and secondly naming individuals from the mercantile (especially Quaker) community with whom he had known connections. The article further attempts to show how Defoe’s varied background equipped him for the task, including spells as a shipowner, in the wine trade, in the import/export business, as an election agent travelling the country for Robert Harley and as an official in the commission for glass duties. This experience gave him a grasp, scarcely equalled by anyone in his age, of the workings of Bristol and its region.

Victorian Clifton: A Suburb of PrivilegePeter Malpass279-302

The built-up area of Bristol increased tenfold over the 19th century, and most of that expansion took place after the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. As the city increased in size, it became more differentiated: the fashionable suburbs, west and north of the old town, differed in a number of ways from the expanding neighbourhoods to the south and east. Clifton and the neighbouring areas of Tyndall’s Park and Redland were predominantly residential and truly suburban in terms of their social, economic and physical characteristics. In marked contrast to Bedminster and east Bristol, factories, tanneries, gas works, breweries and so on were largely absent, and the railways, so intrusive in the eastern neighbourhoods, made only a minor impact on the landscape and environment. The houses were not only larger but also mostly semi-detached and built at lower density. These ‘suburbs of privilege’, which were matched by similar developments in London and other cities such as Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow, represented something entirely new, and need to be understood in the context of the wider transformation of towns and cities. That transformation has often been associated with industrialization and the degradation of the urban environment, but for the better-off the residential suburbs provided oases of comfort and respectability, strategically located at a healthy distance from, and up-wind of, the town, but close enough to sustain business interests.

Notes and Queries303-14
Archaeological ReviewJan Wills315-46

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