Between September 2012 and February 2013 archaeologists carried out a series of excavations in advance of works to upgrade the A453 between junction 24 of the M1 and the A52 near Clifton, Nottingham.
Two areas contained significant archaeological remains (Sites 7 and 28). These lay to on the southern side of the former line of the A453 between Barton in Fabis and Clifton near Nottingham. Both sites lay within the Trent Valley, just above the floodplain.
The road scheme was sponsored by the Highways Agency (now Highways England) and designed by WYG Engineering Ltd. The archaeological works were commissioned and supported by Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd.
Site 7 (NGR 453215, 332742) contained a Middle Iron Age enclosed settlement. The investigation revealed an enclosure, a roundhouse and a line of pits/postholes for a palisade.
The evidence suggests that all of the features at this site relate to a single phase of occupation during the Middle Iron Age. Pottery was the main type of find from this site, but animal bone and environmental remains were also recovered. There was no indication that the settlement at Site 7 continued into the later Iron Age.
Site 28 (NGR 453930, 333650), lay 1.2 km from Site 7 and on slightly higher ground. Here the earliest occupation dated to the later Iron Age, just prior to the Roman Conquest. Two phases of activity were identified. Although no domestic structures were found within the 1st century AD enclosure, the finds show that there was settlement here or nearby until the late 2nd century. This settlement was notable for the diverse range of pottery used on the site; access to these goods was probably due to the site’s position on an established communication route through the Trent Valley.
The large enclosure was abandoned during the 3rd century and replaced with a less regular enclosure and a crop-processing building that contained the fragmentary remains of a grain drying oven. In contrast to the earlier phase, the pottery from the later enclosure phase was of typically rural character. This change and the ultimate decline of the settlement in the 4th century may have been associated with increasing Romanisation of the area, including villas at Glebe Farm and Lockington.
Both phases of activity produced pottery and animal bone and assemblages of charred plant remains, and each included an inhumation burial. Radiocarbon analysis indicates that the earliest burial was carried out between 10 BC–130 AD at 95% probability while the other was probably late 2nd century or 3rd century AD (140–330 AD at 95% probability).
The assessment reports, which include site plans, and specialist finds and environmental reports, which include methodologies and data tablescan be downloaded by clicking the links below.
- An account of the results will be published in volume 119 (for 2015) of the Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire.
Full details of the fieldwork and the post-excavation analysis are contained in the site archive which has been deposited with the Nottingham City Museum and Art Gallery (accession code NCMG2013-9). Project information has also been deposited with the Archaeology Data Service (OASIS identifier 186768).