Sandye Lane, Swinsehead, Bedfordshire. Archaeological observation, investigation, recording and analysis.
Between the 15th-18th April 2013 an archaeological monitoring, recording and sample excavation was undertaken by the CAU on the line of the perimeter footings for a new single-storey dwelling to the rear of Sale Cottage, Sandye Lane, Swineshead, Bedfordshire. Here some 78 sq m of trenching revealed at least seven shallow and sinuous NE-SW and SE-NW intersecting ditches from which small amounts of locally manufactured 12th century coarseware pottery were recovered. This included most of one shallow dish identified as a probable flour measure; both this and some environmental remains which included carbonised cereal grain suggested breadmaking and milling, thus providing indications of domestic activity and dwellings nearby. The presence of three re-established boundary ditches parallel to the edge of the current churchyard supports the idea of an earlier 12th century church on this site prior to the present 13th-14th century construction. These finds represent the very earliest archaeological evidence for the Medieval village of Swineshead.