New report: High Common

A series of geophysics surveys has been completed over the past year in High (Great or Upper) Common, Bath. This area has been in use as an Approach Golf Course, but was out of action at that time. It had been part of the historical Common lands of Bath and much of the Commons was developed to become the Royal Victoria Park in 1830. We know of early settlements including from Bronze Age through to Roman in areas near this work. In this part of the Commons a Romano-British building was detected, surveyed and partially excavated during irrigation works in 2004.

The results described in this project indicate the limits of the area immediately around this building. They also show the remains of a long sequence of agricultural activity over the wider Common, including rectangular and strip field enclosures, many of these fields including evidence of patterns of (ridge and furrow) plough lines. There are four springs in the Common, the water from which has been used in the past, including to supply the Pond built in Royal Victoria Park, making part of a complex scheme of water relations in the Common. Our results have added to the information about these. Many of our results have been complicated by the effect of the golf course arrangements, but enough has remained apparent to add to the history of the area.

The report is now available for download.

This site is one of those being investigated by BACAS as part of the Bathscape project (supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund).