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Report Title

Galley Hill, Hillfort, Sandy, Bedfordshire: Archaeological Field Evaluation

Publisher and Publication Year

Albion Archaeology - 2006

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Summary

Non-Technical Summary The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) have recently been upgrading the facilities on their reserve at The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire. This has included work on the central office complex as well as the surrounding landscape. As part of these works there is a strong desire to improve understanding of the local setting and environmental/cultural history of both the reserve and the surrounding area. As a first stage in this process, English Heritage (EH) undertook an analytical earthwork survey of the later prehistoric enclosure (hillfort) of Galley Hill (Scheduled Ancient Monument 445). This survey revealed new information about the earthworks preserved within the hillfort and about the possible existence of earlier earthworks which may have preceded the later prehistoric monument. In order to investigate these issues further, EH and RSPB commissioned Albion Archaeology to carry out an archaeological field evaluation and prepare a report on the results (this document). The information obtained from the evaluation will also help to inform any future proposals for further archaeological investigation of the monument. The hillfort lies in the south-western corner of The Lodge RSPB reserve near Sandy, Bedfordshire. It occupies a very prominent location at the southern edge of a well defined spur of land projecting in a south-western extension from a broad flat-topped plateau. The interior of the monument has been cleared of trees. However, it is surrounded on all sides by dense coniferous woodland. The evaluation has been successful in significantly augmenting knowledge and understanding of the use of Galley Hill, both before and after construction of the hillfort. All three of the original research aims set for the investigation were achieved: · Could we identify the original entrance to the hillfort? Trench 1 successfully identified the entrance. It is located in the northern perimeter of the monument. The entrance is c.3m wide and therefore would have allowed the passage of both pedestrians and carts. · What was the date and function of earthwork in the centre of the monument? The remains of a ditch, bank and associated pit and postholes were recorded in Trench 2. The ditch was aligned NW-SE, the pit and postholes NE-SW. These not only demonstrate the excellent standard of preservation within the monument, they also suggest that evidence of internal sub-divisions, possible entrance ways and structural remains are preserved within the interior of the monument. · Could we find traces of an earlier monument (precursor) to the main hillfort? Yes. The borehole survey successfully identified the existence of a large cut feature in the location predicted by the earlier earthwork survey. Further Albion Archaeology Galley H Hillfort, Sandy, Bedfordshire Archaeological Field Evaluation 7 investigation of these remains would be of enormous interest given their relatively early date, and the role they must have played in the origins and development of the main hillfort. In summary, the investigation has confirmed that Galley H contains well preserved, securely dated archaeological remains of local, regional and national interest. No well preserved environmental remains were identified within the monument but more extensive investigation may redress this. Albion Archaeology Galley H Hillfort, Sandy, Bedfordshire Archaeological Field Evaluation 8 1. INTRODUCTION
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Table of Contents

List of Figures.....................................................................................................................................3 Preface.................................................................................................................................................4 Structure of this Report.....................................................................................................................4 Key Terms...........................................................................................................................................5 Non-Technical Summary...................................................................................................................6 1. INTRODUCTION...................................................................................... 8 1.1 Project Background.............................................................................................................8 1.2 Site Location and Description.............................................................................................8 1.4 Landform, Geology and Soils..............................................................................................8 1.3 Archaeological Background................................................................................................8 1.4 Methodologies.......................................................................................................................9 1.5 Professional Standards ........................................................................................................9 2. AIMS AND METHODOLOGIES............................................................. 10 2.1 Trial trenching ...................................................................................................................10 2.2 Borehole Survey .................................................................................................................11 3. RESULTS............................................................................................... 12 3.1 Introduction........................................................................................................................12 3.2 Topsoil, subsoil and geological deposits ...........................................................................12
4.3 Summary.............................................................................................................................19 5. BIBLIOGRAPHY.................................................................................... 21 6. APPENDICES ........................................................................................ 22 6.1 Appendix 1 ­ Trench Summaries .....................................................................................22 6.2 Appendix 2 ­ Artefact and Ecofact Summary.................................................................26 6.3 Appendix 3 ­ Borehole Survey Report.............................................................................29

Headings

English Heritage and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
3.5 The entrance to the hillfort ...............................................................................................13
3.7 Depths of overburden sealing the monument..................................................................15
4. SYNTHESIS OF RESULTS ................................................................... 17
4.1 Discussion ...........................................................................................................................17
Preface
Key Terms
Non-Technical Summary
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Project Background
1.2 Site Location and Description
1.4 Landform, Geology and Soils
1.3 Archaeological Background
1.4 Methodologies
1.5 Professional Standards
2. AIMS AND METHODOLOGIES
2.1 Trial trenching
2.2 Borehole Survey
2.2.1 Introduction
2.2.2 Methodology
2.2.3 Transect 1
2.2.4 Transect 2
3. RESULTS
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Topsoil, subsoil and geological deposits
3.5 The entrance to the hillfort
3.6 The layout of the interior of the hillfort
3.7 Depths of overburden sealing the monument
4. SYNTHESIS OF RESULTS
4.1 Discussion
4.1.3 A route into, and through, the monument?
4.3 Summary
5. BIBLIOGRAPHY
6. APPENDICES
6.1 Appendix 1 ­ Trench Summaries
6.2 Appendix 2 ­ Artefact and Ecofact Summary
6.2.1 Introduction
Iron Age
6.2.2 Pottery
6.2.3 Worked and burnt flint
6.2.4 Other finds
2. They are not identifiable to species.
6.2.5 Environmental Samples
0 None 3 Moderate
1 Very sparse 4 Abundant
2 Sparse 5 Very abundant
6.3 Appendix 3 ­ Borehole Survey Report
W E
1 Km
HILL
Archaeological Field Evaluation
Archaeological Feature
Archaeological Feature

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