Survey Project

GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY In May 2012 a team of archaeologists including members of CLASP and local archaeological contractors Archaeological Services and Consultancy Ltd and Cotswold Archaeology carried out a geophysical and contour survey of an area of Bury Field Common, Newport Pagnell. The geophysical survey coordinated by the Council’s Conservation & Archaeology team targeted the site of a lost tumulus or barrow destroyed in World War II and also recent finds suggesting an Iron Age and Roman settlement on the common. 

The survey used a magnetometer or more correctly a gradiometer which measures and records variations in the magnetic field of the ground beneath. When plotted, the measurements can be interpreted to reveal buried archaeological features such as ditches and pits and also areas of burning or brickwork and iron or other ferrous metal objects.

The results of the survey show that previously unknown and extensive archaeological remains are present. Strong magnetic anomalies identify infilled ditches forming a pattern of enclosures and trackways characteristic of Iron Age and Romano-British rural settlement activity. 

The largest of the enclosures probably formed part of the settlements agricultural infield, whilst smaller enclosures may define the areas where people were living or would have been used as stock pens. The survey results suggest that the settlement was relatively long lived as there are indications that its layout underwent a number of phases of reorganisation.

The aim of the initial exploratory survey was to determine whether archaeological remains were present a Bury Field and in this the survey has been successful. It is hoped that further phases of survey will be undertaken in order to better characterise and define the extent of the settlement.