Vicar's Farm, Cambridge: Post Excavation Assessment Report. Vols 1 & 2
Activity on the site was identified from four main periods: the Mesolithic/Neolithic (6000-2000 BC), the Iron Age (800 BC-43 AD), Roman (43-420 AD), and Medieval/Post-Medieval. The Mesolithic/Neolithic phase consisted exclusively of a scatter of flint tools while the Iron Age material comprised a number of shallow pits associated with handmade pottery lying at the southern and northern parts of the site. Dominating the archaeology on the site however was the Roman settlement, consisting of a regularly laid, rectilinear system of ditched enclosures and semi-open fields. The core of this system lies in the middle of the site, where the main enclosures, an aisled building, timber post circle and a number of quarry pits and wells are located. At the settlement fringes were two cemeteries, an inhumation cemetery to the south (c. 30 burials with 1 cremation) and a cremation cemetery to the north (7 cremations with 2 infant inhumations), along with a further five isolated burials. A droveway/trackway runs down from the northern limit of excavation with a metalled path leading off it into the settlement core, while on both the northern and southern edges of this core were areas of extensive metalling, probably as yard surfaces. The settlement lasted over 350 years from which was recovered a very substantial assemblage of pottery and animal bones, a diverse range of small finds including spearheads, brooches, pins and over 350 coins as well as a fine small bust of the Roman deity Minerva. Overall, the size and nature of the site and its assemblage, along with the manner in which it has been investigated, places it among the most important in the region for this period. After the abandonment of the site in the 5th century AD, there is no visible activity until the later medieval period when the land is ploughed leaving ridge and furrow. The medieval dyke known as Willowes Ditch ran through the northern part of the site, but was almost completely truncated by a later sewer pipe which was placed along its course. Finally, at the turn of the nineteenth century, Vicar's Farm was established and remained more or less unchanged until its demolition in 2000.