In June, an archaeological investigation took place in the field east of The Myrke where the horses used to graze (between the M4 and Slough Road) in preparation for the Smart Motorway. Some residents were told unofficially by the workmen that ‘something of interest’ had been discovered. They alerted DVS and we contacted Highways England and Berkshire’s Archaeology Officer who informed us that evidence of a late Bronze Age settlement (1200-800BC) had been found.
After these initial finds, a larger area at the site was investigated. The excavations recorded a series of long-lived ditches running across the site, possibly defining a seasonal stream or area of boggy ground. The ditches seem to date from the later Bronze Age into the Roman period. There are a number of features either side of these ditches, including deep water holes and the traces of a structure or building, the date of which is currently uncertain. Oxford Archaeology is now analysing and reporting on the results.
This part of the Middle Thames Valley appears to have been a hive of activity in the later Bronze Age with farms, field systems and burial monuments recorded in many locations between Staines and Maidenhead.
This latest find follows the exciting recent discovery of a Stone Age causewayed enclosure at Riding Court (the subject of this year’s DVS AGM presentation, see the Gallery section of this website for event details and main photo from Wessex Archaeology); and the spectacular finds at Southlea when DVS investigated cropmarks seen in aerial photographs. Visit Janet Kennish’s Datchet History website for more information.