This project aims to investigate 11 sites in Inkpen by carrying out geophysics surveys of empty spaces on the 1795 Tithe map which may reveal evidence of earlier activity.
Surveying three of these sites may give us more details about Westcourt Manor which dates from Early Medieval times. Surveying two of the sites may give us insights into Saxon Inkpen, one of the sites may reveal evidence of a mill lsted in Domesday, while the others may identify cottages and other buildings which have been demolished since the 19th century.
The partners in this project are the Berkshire Archaeological Society and the Inkpen History Group.
This project is investigating 6 historic features across the parish of Inkpen. In priority order they are:
- Westcourt Manor: which dates from 1167
- Wansdyke: an earthwork which stretches from Bristol to Inkpen
- Two 19th century cottages: which are shown on the 1815 enclosure map but have since bedemolished
- Inkpen mill site: land close to the site of the mill listed in Doomsday
- Two fields near the Folly: which may hold Saxon remains
- Fields near Trappshill House
From the 28th September to 6th October 2022, a small team surveyed site F2S1 (see map above) with the Society’s gradiometer and earth resistance meter. The survey found evidence of three phases of structures on the site;
- Phase 1 was a structure some 20m north-south and 10m east-west
- Phase 2 was a series of buildings aligned to Spray Road but located some 40m above the road. The largest of the buildings was some 14m x 5m
- Phase 3 was a series of buildings on the side of Spray Road, these included what may prove to be two barns, the largest of which may have been 30m x 8m. They were aligned at right-angles to the road.
Unfortunately, a geophysics survey does not allow us to date these phases of use of the site.
May /June 2023
Further areas were surveyed (see map above)
- In area F1S1 we found evidence of the water main to cottages by the church and some evidence of land use.
- In area F2S1, we found evidence of several buildings.
- In area F3S1, we were looking for evidence of an early mill. We found it by walking down the stream from the road by The Plantation. The remains took the form of a 3m high dam which the stream had cut through and below it what may be the remains of a building.
- At F4S1, we found evidence of a building
- At F5S2, which is next to F5S1, we found a house platform and the remains of another building.
These results are encouraging. There is more to be done at Inkpen in the future.
To participate in this project contact Andrew Hutt at projects(at)berksarch.co.uk
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