Lubenham Hill, Market Harborough, Leicester

A strip, map and record exercise of 5.5 hectares of a complex Romano-British settlement site, with evidence of occupation from the Neolithic, and a later prehistoric pit alignment

A strip, map and record exercise of 5.5 hectares was carried out during the summer of 2016. The work was undertaken as a condition of planning consent for a large residential development. Prior to AAL’s involvement in the site a geophysical survey and evaluation trenching had been undertaken and showed the presence of field boundaries and enclosures, provisionally dated to the Iron Age and Romano-British periods.

The earliest evidence of occupation recorded on the site dated from the early Neolithic, with several pits that contained worked flint including a fragment of a leaf shaped arrowhead, and a piece of a Langdale stone axe, found in the northwest corner of the site. A prehistoric pit alignment was found, oriented north to south, and is similar to others found in Leicestershire. Also recorded were the remains of at least two Iron age drip gullies associated with round houses.

The whole site with complete stratigraphic phasing, red being earlier and blue being later.

The whole site with complete stratigraphic phasing, red being earlier and blue being later.

The majority of features on the site were, as expected, Romano-British field systems and enclosures. Finds from this period included a partial sliver ring, a copper alloy make up tool, a brooch and a number of quern stones including a rotary and saddle quern. An open day was organised and volunteers from local historical societies were invited to come onto site and excavate some of the pits in the pit alignment.

Over 580 holes were excavated, over 3100 context numbers assigned and just under 1200 drawings were completed to investigate this complex Romano-British settlement, within an area with evidence of extended occupation from the Neolithic to the 4th century AD.

Post-excavation assessment is currently ongoing.