Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment, East London

Border Archaeology has been commissioned to carry out an ADBA regarding the proposed building works at land adjoining Federation of Synagogues Cemetery.

In Brief

Client: Developer Sector: Construction Services:

Archaeological Desk Based Assessment

Location: East London

Key Points

  • There have been a significant number of past archaeological investigations dated to the prehistoric and Romano- British period within the study area (fig 2, see Section 5) and in close vicinity to the site, and as such the archaeology of the area is relatively well known. The area was also the subject of a study that assessed six multi-period sites in the Havering and Upminster area which revealed extensive Mesolithic, Early Neolithic, Iron Age and Romano- British activity (MOLA 2013), namely at Moor Hall Farm (28), 500m south-east of the site.
  • In the south-eastern extent of the site are a set of rectilinear cropmarks (1), identified from Google Earth satellites and recorded on the GLHER that have yet to be archaeologically investigated.

Summary

The site lies in an Archaeological Priority Area as designated by Havering Borough Council, which is deemed as having a high potential for prehistoric and palaeoenvironmental deposits.

The site has a high potential to contain remains dating to the prehistoric and Roman period. There have been a number of significant features and finds dating to both periods within the study area which indicates a relatively high level of activity within the area. Further to which, the site contains a set of rectilinear crop marks in the south- eastern extent, which it has been suggested, follows a similar layout to that of a standard Roman villa.

The site has a moderate potential to contain remains dating to the medieval period. There have been a number of medieval features recorded within the study area, as well as a ‘lost’ manor that is thought to have been in the vicinity of the site. However, there is nothing to suggest that a structure of this description exists within the boundaries of the site.

There is a low potential for remains dating to the post-medieval period. During this period the site remained undeveloped and lay in open fields.

It is recommended that further investigation of the rectilinear cropmarks takes place in order to establish their nature and extent. This could take the form of a geophysical survey or targeted trial trenching of the area.

Considering the high potential for archaeological survival within the site and the level of prehistoric and Romano- British activity that has been recorded in the area, and the fact the site is within an Archaeological Priority Area, it is likely that further archaeological investigatory work will be required across the site. It is recommended that a programme of pre-determination fieldwork take place to establish the likely nature and extent of archaeological survival. This may lead to targeted or open area excavation, or a watching brief during initial groundworks.

Results

The site does not contain any designated (protected) heritage assets, such as listed buildings, scheduled monuments or registered parks and gardens. The site does lie in an Archaeological Priority Area, as designated by Havering Borough Council, for potential prehistoric and palaeoenvironmental deposits.

The site has a high potential for remains dating to the prehistoric and Romano-British periods. There is a moderate potential for the medieval period and low potential for post-medieval remains.

With regards to buried heritage assets, owing to the size of the site and scale and depth of the proposed development, as well as the potential for archaeological remains it is anticipated that the LPA will require a programme of archaeological investigation works prior to initial groundworks. Aerial photographs have identified rectilinear crop marks within the south-east area of the site which share similar features to that of a standard layout Roman villa. Historic reports of excavations of the eastern half of the developed cemetery recorded Roman- British pottery which suggests activity in the vicinity.

In order to understand further the nature and extent of the rectilinear crop marks in the south-eastern extent of the site, a geophysical survey of the area or targeted trial trenching is recommended. Depending on the results of the survey and/or the trial trenching, further archaeological work may be required on targeted areas, or as an open area excavation.

Considering the high potential for archaeological survival within the site and the level of prehistoric and Romano- British activity that has been recorded in the area, and the fact the site is within an Archaeological Priority Area, it is likely that further archaeological investigatory work will be required across the site. It is recommended that a programme of pre-determination fieldwork take place to establish likely nature and extent of archaeological survival. This may lead to targeted or open area excavation, or a watching brief during initial groundworks.