Archaeological Investigations at Bourn Bridge, Pampisford, Cambridgeshire
As part of a planning application for quarrying, a field assessment was undertaken across a 10ha terrace beside the River Granta near to its Icknield Way ford. Hillwash and alluviation had variously obscured and truncate any buried soil, and clearly influenced fieldwalking results; only moderate quantities of lithics were recovered. Nevertheless, earlier Neolithic activity was evident over much of the application area. Across the central floodplain concentrations of burnt flint were encountered, suggestive of ‘early’ camp-type settlement. Deposits of this occupation matrix (burnt flint and earlier Neolithic flintwork) were found within the base of a palaeo-channel of the river, beside which was a prehistoric ditch filled with burnt flint, and a burial within the alluvium. Whilst possibly defining a ring-ditch mortuary enclosure, the proximity of the alluvium-sealed ditch and the inhumation may, however, be coincidental and the grave much later (Romano-British?) A distinct spread of Iron Age occupation debris was found, 60m from the river, in the eastern part of the site. Although evidently redeposited through earlier quarrying, contemporary features in the vicinity suggest that movement of this material had not been great. Features of Romano-British date were found sealed throughout the floodplain. A major riverside droveway system and probable settlement complexes were identified.