Community Excavation and Open Day: Broomfield 2023

Published by Dan Broadbent on

As part of the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme’s ‘Understanding The Landscape’ project, this summer, we will be conducting a community excavation of an intriguing cropmark enclosure in Broomfield Somerset.

Studies of aerial photography have identified numerous cropmark enclosures in the Quantocks with particular concentrations around the southern foothills. Few of these have been archaeologically investigated but most are broadly thought to be of Iron Age or Roman date. The Broomfield feature is unusual in being almost perfectly circular and of considerable size, measuring approximately 93 metres in diameter. This has led to the suggestion that the site could be that of a henge, an earthen enclosure, dating from around 3000 BC to 2000 BC, during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age.

The unusual nature of the Broomfield cropmark led to it being identified as a possible target for excavation with the aim of confirming whether it is indeed the site of what would be a substantial henge, unique in the immediate area and of potentially national significance.

Existing aerial photographs of the feature are over thirty years old, but a drone survey has confirmed that the feature is still present despite being on arable farmland. A subsequent geophysical survey identified several linear and curvilinear features in and around the circle, suggestive of a multi-phase site, including possible traces of at least one roundhouse in the interior.

Following last year’s investigation into the medieval manor at Crowcombe, Context One Heritage & Archaeology will once again be leading our intrepid team of volunteers in the excavation, which will be taking place from 31st August to 9th September 2023.

Open Day

A public open day will be held at the National Trust’s Fyne Court estate on the last day of the dig on Saturday 9 September from 11am-3pm. This will include an opportunity to view finds from the dig, along with family activities, displays and films of our other historic heritage projects. You will be able to visit the excavations which are a twenty five minute walk away, or there will also be a shuttle bus running between Fyne Court and the dig site.

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