West Stow, Lackford Bridge, Suffolk

Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service, 2007

Data copyright © Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service unless otherwise stated

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Primary contact

Dr Jess Tipper
Project Manager
Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service
9-10 Churchyard
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1RX

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Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service (2007) West Stow, Lackford Bridge, Suffolk [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000250

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This project concerns the results of an archaeological excavation undertaken on West Stow heath in the Breckland region of north-west Suffolk (SMR ref. WSW 030; TL 791 713). The excavation was carried out in advance of gravel quarrying during December 1978 and January 1979 by the Suffolk Archaeological Unit (now Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service) under the direction of Linden Elmhirst. The quarry has been closed for some years and the location of the site now lies within West Stow County Park, owned by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

At the time of the fieldwork, pre Planning and Policy Guidance: Archaeology and Planning, there was no developer funding available for post-excavation and thus only very limited analysis took place. Funding for the current project has been provided by the historic environment element of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, administered by English Heritage. This has enabled archive completion and assessment of potential for analysis, addressing Objective 2 of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund priorities - the analysis and dissemination of important data from past work undertaken in response to aggregate extraction.

The original excavation area covered c.2.700 square metres, in which a complex of ditches, pits, Sunken Featured Buildings and post-holes were defined that clearly extended beyond the edge of the small area investigated. A preliminary overview of the material indicates that Neolithic, Iron Age, Roman and early Anglo-Saxon settlement features were excavated.

The site is situated within an area of outstanding archaeological importance. In particular, this area contains a wealth of known sites and is a key area for the study of the Roman to Anglo-Saxon transition in eastern England. The site lies at the west end of West Stow parish, immediately above the fording of the Icknield Way and the River Lark, half way between the major excavations of an early Anglo-Saxon settlement at West Stow and the Scheduled Monument (SF 152) that is the important Roman settlement at Icklingham. The analysis and publication of this excavation will, therefore, make a valuable contribution to our understanding of the historic environment in this area.

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