New homes work uncovers historic finds

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Big pot at Hillmorton

Archaeologists have discovered that 96 brand new homes currently being built in Hillmorton are not the first to have been constructed at the Ashlawn Road location.

As part of the site preparation for their new development, Bovis Homes funded extensive archaeological work, which has uncovered some fascinating finds that are now being examined by experts while work on the new homes progresses.

The excavations have revealed artefacts from a 2,000-year old settlement, that would have likely remained undiscovered without the current building work taking place, and which will soon be shared with the local community.

The first human activity on the site is likely to date back to the Bronze Age, but it was most actively used in the late Iron Age and early Roman period, when it appears to have been a focus for pottery production.

Daniel Oliver, Bovis Homes West Midlands Technical Director, said: "By developing this land, we were able to give Archaeology Warwickshire and CgMs Consulting the opportunity to investigate the area and we are delighted that they were able to find items of interest. The artefacts they have found will provide local people and schools with an insight into what life was like in Hillmorton thousands of years ago.

"The settlement has obviously remained undiscovered for centuries so it's exciting to think of the land now playing host to a brand new part of the community!"

Simon Mortimer, Director of CgMs Consulting, archaeological consultants for Bovis Homes, said: "The history of occupation on this site was unknown prior to work starting on the new homes, but we can now show that, after a hiatus of around 1,700 years, this location has a proud lineage! It's traceable into pre-history and the site is obviously now moving on to a new chapter of human habitation and activity."

The site has given up a range of environmental and pottery production data, and is expected to aid archaeological studies and historical understanding for many years to come.

The discovery of a Late Bronze Age pit alignment, which is thought to be an early form of land division, provided some exciting finds. Some of these large holes, which age from around 1000 to 500BC, became waterlogged which preserved the data within it, giving archaeologists' information about the local environment, surrounding landscape, forest clearance and farming. A second pit alignment, which dates from around 500BC to AD 43, contained Roman pottery, which suggested that they were open for a long period of time.

The kilns found on the site have particular importance to the region and pottery studies, as the 'Belgic' style pottery produced by them mimic's classical Mediterranean forms, which is not generally found west of the Avon Valley.

Kilns excavation

The first new Bovis Homes at Hillmorton will be complete this winter and the three, four and five bedroom homes are already being reserved off plan at Connells in Rugby. For further information visit