Heritage

 
3D Masterplan
 
Heritage

  

Gallagher Estates
The west side of Arbury Park contains an Iron Age circular enclosure, ‘Arbury Camp’, dating from between the 4th and 2nd Centuries BC. The enclosure consists of a ditch with an internal bank.

The Cambridge Archaeological Unit has undertaken extensive excavations, which have added to previous findings.

A 6m wide bank and external ditch originally surrounded the enclosure, but these have long since been levelled. Earlier excavations of the ditches unearthed fragments of leather dating to the Iron Age, now on display at the British Museum.

In the eastern part of the enclosure, evidence of an entranceway has been recorded. Recent excavations have revealed that the entranceway was made up of eight huge timber posts. These are likely to have supported a two-storey high structure that probably had a viewing platform on top. A similar gateway structure has been recorded at Sutton Common, Yorkshire. This Iron Age ‘fort’ occupies a lowland marsh area and has some similarity with Arbury Camp.

A large amount of pre-historic domestic refuse was found in the bottom of a ditch to the south of the entranceway, including animal bone and fragments of Iron Age pottery bowls. This is strong evidence that there was some form of domestic occupation here. However, as there are no remains of buildings within the enclosure, it is likely that occupation was of a temporary nature – perhaps herders camping overnight with their cattle. The gate structure may have formed a shelter of some kind, and the ditch to the south of the entranceway may have been part of a stock pen.

Part of the enclosure’s bank and ditch will be reinstated as an earthwork and the County Council will be providing interpretation boards.

Excavation holes at the Arbury site
Excavation holes at the Arbury site

Typical reconstruction of an Iron Age encampment
Typical reconstruction of an Iron Age encampment