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Fleam Dyke Pumping Station, Cambridge. An Archaeological Evaluation and Watching Brief.


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Authors

Timberlake, Simon 

Abstract

In March 2014 an archaeological evaluation was undertaken at the Fleam Dyke (Cambridge Water) Pumping Station, near Fulbourn, Cambridge in advance of the construction of a Nitrates Reduction Scheme facility. Two 5m long trenches were dug some 12m apart within the PDA approx. 22m north-west of the main brick building. Within both of these trenches the natural chalk was encountered about a metre down, but in this no earlier archaeological features were found. In Trench 1 the edge of a modern cut with a chalk-concrete rubble fill was found (the latter associated with the construction of a recent inspection chamber some 8m to the south-east), whilst within both trenches a layer of redeposited chalk was encountered at about 30cms depth; the latter probably associated with the groundworks for the construction of the pumping station and borehole between 1912 and 1921. This horizon overlay weathered redeposited chalk which in turn rested directly upon a c.19th century or earlier plough soil that truncated the underlying bedrock as well as a number of 'ancient' tree throws and shallow solution features present in the chalk. These features were devoid of archaeological finds. Following that in May 2014 an archaeological watching brief was carried out on a new 70m long pipeline to this facility. Similarly this did not reveal any archaeology, the pipe trenches for this being cut through made-up ground. Finally, in September 2014 an archaeological watching brief was carried out on the pits dug for the laying of a 5.5 kilometre long effluent discharge pipeline from the Fleam Dyke Pumping Station to the Anglian Water foul main on Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge. No archaeological features were revealed within the 57 testpits examined, although a buried soil with a struck flint flake was identified in one, and a number of flint scatters identified along the route. Saxon and Postmedieval pottery was noted on the hilltop setting next to Fulbourn Windmill.

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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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