Welton-le-Wold, Lincolnshire: An understanding of the Ice Age

Dave Start, 2011

Data copyright © Dave Start unless otherwise stated


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Dave Start
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Heritage Lincolnshire
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NG34 9RW
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Dave Start (2011) Welton-le-Wold, Lincolnshire: An understanding of the Ice Age [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000408

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Introduction

Photograph of borehole samples

The village of Welton-le-Wold is located approximately 6 km west of Louth in the district of East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. The sands and gravels that fill the valley were deposited during the Pleistocene and are buried beneath glacial tills (between 4m and 13m thick), and were extensively quarried from the late 19th century until the mid 1970's.

Between 1969 and 1972, Professor Alan Straw and the then schoolboy, Christopher Alabaster collected three hand axes, a retouched flake and the fossilised remains of elephant, red deer, probable Irish giant deer and horse. They came from a 1.5m to 2m vertical zone which was 3.25m to 4.25m below the base of the glacial till in upper Welton gravels, across approximately 30m of the active western quarry face in Welton-le-Wold. It was, (and still is), so rare for Palaeolithic artefacts to be found unequivocally stratified beneath glacial till that publication of the assemblage and its Pleistocene context, swiftly followed; in 1976 by Alabaster and Straw in Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society and then in 1977 by Wymer and Straw in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society . The completeness of the glacial sequence, and the potential of the site to resolve critical questions of chronology in regional Pleistocene studies make Welton-le-Wold one of the most important quaternary geological sites in the East Midlands.

A quarry 'Facelift' in 2001 funded by English Nature gave impetus to an Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) project designed to apply a multi-disciplinary approach to further understand and enhance the archaeological and geological resource at Welton-le-Wold former sand and gravel quarry.