Where water wells up from the earth: excavations at the findspot of the Late Bronze Age Broadward hoard, Shropshire

Excavations at a nearby earthwork enclosure

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Excavations at a nearby earthwork enclosure

Three hundred metres to the north-east was a roughly circular mound, 33–38m in diameter (fig 9). The two sites cannot be seen from one another and are separated by a spur of higher ground. Early maps depict a ‘tumulus’ in this location, but field observations suggested that it was of glacial origin.

The summit of the mound was bounded by a ditch approximately 3m wide which was most apparent within the SSW–ESE quadrant, and only visible as a scarp around much of the northern perimeter. There is a break in the ditch just south of its easternmost point. It follows the break of slope. Also apparent are a series of broad parallel ridges oriented NNW–SSE and spaced roughly 7m apart, which may represent ridge-and-furrow.

The enclosure ditch was sectioned at three points. It was 2.3m wide and only 400mm deep and had a U-profile. To the south of the entrance, it contained two distinct fills, the upper a 250mm thick sandy-loam deposit with much gravel, and the lower 100mm thick orange-brown silt with a few charcoal flecks. Neither contained any finds. Elsewhere, the ditch contained a single fill: a sandy-loam deposit with gravel.

The south-eastern causeway or entrance was about 4m wide. A pit was discovered just inside the southern ditch terminal (context 3006). It extended beyond the excavated area and its exact shape and dimensions are unknown. The part that was excavated had gently sloping sides and a concave base and was 25cm deep. It contained a single fill of rounded gravel in a brown sandy-loam matrix. Within this was the lower part of a fired clay weight which had been placed upside down in the ground (fig 10).

A machine trench measuring 17m by 4m was opened across the interior of the enclosure and extended across the entrance and the southern ditch terminal. This area was left open to weather, but no subsoil features were observed.

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