Imperial College Sports Ground and RMC Land


Wessex Archaeology’s excavation, between 1996 and 2009, of two large sites, 250 metres apart, in the London Borough of Hillingdon, uncovered evidence for Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Romano-British, Saxon and medieval activity.
The sites, near the villages of Harlington and Sipson, immediately north of Heathrow Airport, lie midway between the Rivers Colne and Crane, and the excavations have added significant new information to our understanding of the development of the archaeologically rich landscape of the Middle Thames Valley from the Neolithic onwards.
The Early to Middle Neolithic saw the construction of a rectangular ditched mortuary monument, and the widespread digging of pits, many with deposits containing Peterborough Ware pottery. A dispersed monument complex comprising a double ring ditch and two small U-shaped enclosures was associated with rare Middle Neolithic cremation burials. 


The Middle and Late Bronze Age saw the formalised organisation of the landscape into extensive rectangular fields, within which was evidence for settlement and an associated cremation cemetery. A small Iron Age nucleated settlement was developed in the Roman period with enclosures flanking a trackway, cremation burials, middens and quarries. 
From the Saxon period there are two possible sunken-featured buildings, a small early Saxon cemetery, and the establishment of a middle Saxon and medieval field systems of small enclosures and wells.
The two sites were investigated because they were proposed for gravel quarrying. The excavation of the southern site, on the former Imperial College Sports Ground (ICSG), was funded by Henry Streeter (Sand and Ballast) Limited (HSL); the excavation of the northern site, RMC Land, was funded by RMC Ltd, now CEMEX UK.
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