Thirteen trenches were excavated on land west of Church Cottages, Brightwell, as a condition of planning consent to develop the site. Various pits and ditches were recorded which are likely to be associated with extensive field systems in the area known from air photos and suggested within the study area by the results of a geophysical survey of the site in 2013. Very few of the features identified matched positive anomalies from the survey.
Archaeology was densest in the northern end of Trench 6 where four linear features were recorded, one of which was rich in artefacts of Late Iron Age and Early Roman date. Elsewhere, features were scattered and dating evidence was sparse but mainly of Roman or Prehistoric date. In Trench 8, a ditch contained late medieval or post-medieval artefacts and in Trench 10 one of three intercutting ditches contained pottery of post-Roman, possibly Saxon, date.