Anglo-Saxon settlement at Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk

We are now midway through an exciting excavation at Kentford, Suffolk which is revealing a significant archaeological site, a previously unknown intense focus of settlement in the 5th-7th centuries AD …

Interim site plan of the excavations at Kentford

The evidence so far consists of at least sixteen, possibly eighteen, early Anglo-Saxon Sunken Featured Buildings (SFB's), and two, possibly three post-built halls. In addition, there is evidence of prehistoric and Roman occupation, an as yet undated large ‘post-in-trench’ building measuring 22m x 9m, which is likely later Anglo-Saxon in date, several burnt flint features, whose function is unknown but which are a phenomena recently recognised as belonging to Early Anglo-Saxon phases of settlement at Eye, Suffolk, and three inhumation burials

Anglo-Saxon glass bead from the excavations at Kentford

Although only a few of the SFB's have so far been excavated the collected finds material to date includes extensive evidence of Early Anglo-Saxon domestic detritus, predominantly food waste and discarded pottery, but as is typical of these sites also includes artefacts associated with textile working (loomweights, pin beaters etc.), dress accessories (bone comb fragments, brooch fragments) and metal working.

Excavation of Early Anglo-Saxon settlements is still rare, and this site represents the first of its type identified along the Kennet valley. In addition the presence of a large, probably later Anglo-Saxon, building, a type of which only small numbers have been previously excavated, in conjunction with Early Anglo-Saxon settlement has the potential to contribute to our understanding of the development of Kentford from the 5th century AD onwards.

The project is expected to continue throughout October 2015 before it is handed over to the client for residential development.

A fully excavated SFB at Kentford

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