Saxon and medieval


Evidence for Saxon and medieval occupation was found on both sites, the environmental evidence indicating some continuity of arable farming from the Romano-British period, alongside pastoral activity. 
For the early Saxon period (5th to 7th centuries) the presence of sunken-featured buildings and pits add to a body of evidence for a focus settlement of between the rivers Colne and Crane, from Harmondsworth to Hayes.
In addition, on the southern edge of RMC Land, there was also a small early Saxon cemetery containing at least three, and possibly five, inhumation burials dating to the 6th century AD. None contained any human bone, due to the soil conditions, but three produced grave goods, including a silver garnet brooch, colourful glass and amber beads, two iron knives and an iron buckle.
By the middle Saxon period (7th to 9th centuries), however, change is apparent, and perhaps the most important finding has been the identification of a middle to late Saxon settlement at RMC Land, adding to the extremely small body of settlement data for this period in the London area. The evidence includes a fenceline and a small, post-built structure as well as a few pits and waterholes.
Between the late 9th and 11th centuries this settlement developed into a complex of enclosures, small fields and inter-connecting droveways, which was apparently abandoned around the time of the Norman conquest. The main focus of the settlement probably lay within the historic core of the present village of Harlington, and it operated in a largely open landscape which still supported both arable and pastoral regimes.
Traded goods are more apparent in the middle to late Saxon period, including regional pottery wares from the Midlands and East Anglia, and imported continental lava quernstones. Any of these could have been traded through the major trading port of Lundenwic, which developed from the late 7th century. Among the other finds recovered were spindle whorls, loomweights and a pin beater providing evidence of textile making, a silver penny of Ælfred the Great (AD 871–899), and a finely made knife with decorated inlay.
Although the settlement at RMC Land appears to have been abandoned (or shifted to the area of the current village), the field system seems to have been maintained at least into the 12th/13th century, while further to the south, at ICSG, a field system was laid out probably in the 12th century. 
The field layout at ICSG seems to have persisted largely unchanged well into the post-medieval period, and the village retained its rural character well into the 20th century. A stave-built wooden bucket was found almost intact at the base of one of the medieval waterholes at ICSG, bound together by lengths of twisted rope (withies) made of willow/poplar.