The Museum Research Group
A group of Bradford on Avon Museum Society members are researching all aspects of the archaeology and history of the town and hundred of Bradford.
A Geographical Information System has been acquired so that landscape history can be plotted on a series of historical maps.
Members of the group are currently investigating Iron Age, Roman and Medieval pottery from the Budbury area of the town. Each piece is being examined to try to determine its date and locality of production and is being drawn accurately, with a view to eventual publication.
The Museum Society assisted in a small excavation in the garden of a member in the Budbury area of Bradford after a buried cobble floor was found in 2010. The dig was extended laterally and downwards and was successful in locating the edge of the defensive ditch of the Early Iron Age hillfort. Another dig in the same garden in 2012 seems to confirm the extent of both the cobbled area and the Iron Age ditch below it.
A geophysics survey was carried out at Budbury Farm, across the road and the results were interpreted as being a Roman building, causing some excitement at the prospect of another villa. However, excavations found what seems to have been shallow quarrying activity of a kind that was undertaken widely over the Budbury-Bearfield area. Other excavations in the area found what is probably the Iron Age ditch with a deposit of haematite, but a possible Roman building proved to be enigmatic.
Community excavations have also been carried out in Rick Field, next to the Barton Farm Tithe Barn and in Victory Field in Pound Lane. The main feature that geophysics showed turned out to be a spread of clinker, but the small ridge that is topped by the boundary wall shows signs of being ancient.
This is a Heritage Lottery-funded project to plot features in the landscape using a LiDAR survey, aerial photographs, old maps and fieldwork. Follow the Ancient Landscapes Blog on this website for more detail and information on the project’s progress.