Surrey Archaeological Collections

Surrey Archaeological Society, 2003 (updated 2016)

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1000221
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Surrey Archaeological Society (2016) Surrey Archaeological Collections [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000221

Excavations at Great Fosters Hotel, Egham

JIM LEARY, REBECCA LYTHE and JOHN BROWN

Archaeological investigations at Great Fosters Hotel in Egham revealed evidence of intermittent human exploitation within a changing environment from the early Holocene to the present day. A flint scatter, typologically suggestive of a Mesolithic or Early Neolithic date, represented the earliest phase of human activity at the site. The flint scatter may have preceded or been contemporary with a phase of woodland clearance, suggested by the frequency of early tree-throw features and changes in plant macrofossils. A Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age field system then appears to have developed within open woodland or grassland, which may have included a droveway for the management of livestock. An hiatus in activity then ensued, which persisted until the environs of the site were settled in the 5th century. A further break in human activity then occurred between the Saxon period and the medieval period, when evidence of occupation resumed. The site was devoted to arable farming from the 14th century to the late 15th century, prior to construction of the manorial dwelling now known as Great Fosters Hotel. A building recording project, carried out in tandem with the archaeological investigations, indicated that a series of extensions and modifications was made to the 16th century core of the residence throughout the post-medieval period, creating the Grade I listed building evident today.

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