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The Queen Edith, Wulfstan Way, Cambridge. An Archaeological Evaluation


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Authors

Timberlake, Simon 

Abstract

Between 10th-13th February 2014 an archaeological trench evaluation was carried out on the site of the former Queen Edith Public House on Wulfstan Way off Queen Edith Way, between Addenbrooke's Hospital and Cherry Hinton, Cambridge. Three trenches totalling 57.5m were dug close to the site of the former pub to its rear, and across the pre-existing car park area. The main target of the central E-W trench was to uncover a section of the WWII GHQ anti-tank ditch which was dug around the south-eastern edge of Cambridge in August 1940 as part of the stop-line against invasion. The outline of this ditch crossing Queen Edith's Way can be seen on a wartime Luftwaffe air photograph, and as a result it was possible to predict fairly accurately where this would be encountered. The ditch had evidently been machine-cut into the chalk and measured 5.5m in width and 2.4m in depth, with a 1.5m wide flat bottom, shallow eastern and much steeper western side. The ditch fill consisted of washed-in soil and chalk, layers of compressed coiled barbed wire with attached rotten wooden posts, slumped-in soil and chalk spoil, and finally a mixture of backfilled chalk spoil and soil mix which appears to have been shovelled-in by hand. Traces of discoloured chalk lying on top of the natural along its western side may be the traces remaining after backfilling the upcast of the ditch at the end of the war. No other archaeological features were identified.

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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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