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Wessex Archaeology (2016) Vernon Arms, Saltway, Hanbury, Worcestershire. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: wessexar1-173460) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] (doi:10.5284/1040792)
Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by CgMs Consulting to undertake an archaeological evaluation of land near to the Vernon Arms, Saltway, Hanbury, Worcestershire (hereafter 'the Site' centred on NGR 396500 262840).
The Site lies within land immediately southwest of the junction of Saltway, Hanbury Road, and the B4090, near to the Vernon Arms at Hanbury, Worcestershire. The Site is currently in use as pasture.
The Site has been subject to a Desk Based Assessment (DBA; CgMs 2013) and a geophysical survey (Stratascan 2013). The DBA revealed evidence for a possible Romano-British fort identified from satellite imagery. The geophysical survey revealed anomalies representing a possible ring ditch and linear features associated with the possible enclosure/fort.
Four trenches were excavated and were targetted on geophysical anomalies; three trenches revealed archaeological remains (Figure 1). Trench 2 revealed two ditches; Trench 3 an intercutting curvilinear ditch and pit; and Trench 4 a ditch. All of the features, except for one of the ditches in Trench 2, contained archaeological artefacts dating to the Romano-British period (100 – 400+ AD). Pottery recovered from the fills of the ditches within Trenches 2 and 4 are indicative of settlement nearby.
Although one of the ditches may correspond with a crop mark identified as a possible Romano-British fort identified by the HER through satellite imagery, the excavated section suggests the ditch had a non-military function. The linear ditches were aligned northwest-southeast and are likely to represent field enclosures; a curvilinear ditch and a pit may be indicative of stock control or possibly a structure. The Site occupies a plateau and would have afforded easy access to the Saltway. This would have made the Site attractive to past settlers.
The evaluation suggests that additional archaeological remains are likely to survive within the Site and date to the Romano-British period. However none of the features appear to relate to military use.