Henrietta Park 2016 Henrietta Park, BathJanet Pryke, John Knapper and John Oswin
A report on geophysical surveys by the Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society, October 2015
High Common 2023 Description of finds from the newly-made footgolf holesJanet Pryke
In 2023 in High (Great or Upper) Common the southwestern part was redeveloped as a footgolf course. In the previous year a series of geophysics surveys had been completed across the Common. We were given the opportunity to examine the soil dug from the new footgolf holes. High Common’s agricultural use had been continued through much of its past, including as part of the common field system of Bath, before its current recreational use. Earlier activity, including from prehistoric times, is known in the region around this work. In this investigation a small but wide ranging collection of finds was obtained from the excavated soil. The finds’ datings range across the times of use of the Common. These indications could possibly relate to past settlement in the area as well as to items coming from central Bath.
High Common 2023 High Common, Bath (the Approach Golf Course): a report on geophysical surveys during 2022Janet Pryke and John Oswin
A series of geophysics surveys has been completed in High (Great or Upper) Common, Bath. It had been part of the 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 found in 2004. Our results 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.
High Common 2004 Geophysical Survey on Approach Golf Course, High Common, Bath. June 27th – July 5th, 2004John Oswin
Bath Archaeological Trust (BAT) performed a watching brief for Aquaterra as new irrigation work on the eastern portion of the Approach Golf Course at High Common, Bath in late June, 2004. During that exercise, evidence of occupation in Roman times was unearthed. BAT requested that the Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS) perform a geophysical survey to observe more of this occupation.
Hinton Charterhouse 1998 Hinton Charterhouse, Shepherds Mead: Field Walking ResultsJayne Lawes
Shepherds Mead is on the western fringes of Hinton Charterhouse. A field walking exercise was carried out to try to identify the site of a possible Roman building found by Rev J Skinner in 1820.
Isle of Man 2017 Geophysical Surveys in the Vicinity of Corrody Keeill, Tholt Y Will, Sulby, Isle of ManMark Noel, Dave Martin and John Oswin
The Keeills Research Project, in conjunction with BACAS, carried out geophysical surveys aimed at detecting and characterising subsoil features associated with Corrody Keeill, an Early Christian Chapel.
Isle of Man 2017 Geophysical Surveys in the Vicinity of Keeill Bow, Sky Hill, Ramsey, Isle of ManMark Noel and Dave Martin
The Keeills Research Project, in conjunction with BACAS, carried out geophysical surveys aimed at detecting and characterising subsoil features associated with Keeill Bow, an Early Christian Chapel.
Lansdown 2021 Lansdown Camp Geophysical SurveyShaun Wilson and John Richards (eds.)
Playing Field on Lansdown in Bath and North-East Somerset contains the western half of an enclosure known as ‘Lansdown Camp’ and also as the ‘Ovate Enclosure’. The enclosure is bisected by the main road over the plateau. The eastern half in Paddock Field has already been surveyed. Playing Field was surveyed by BACAS in June/July 2021, using magnetometry, magnetic susceptibility, twin-probe resistance, and resistivity profiles. The enclosure was a simple bank and ditch, with no apparent defensive properties, which had been split by the road. If the road was Roman, as seems most likely, then the enclosure was prehistoric. Magnetic susceptibility revealed a large magnetic disturbance just to the west of the enclosure although this did not show clearly using other techniques. The survey could not determine what process had caused this disturbance.
Lansdown 2020 Paddock Field, including ‘ovate’ enclosure (east side), Magnetic & Resistance Geophysical Surveys 2020John Oswin and Janet Pryke
A geophysical survey of the remains of an enclosure was undertaken on Lansdown, near Bath in January 2020. This ‘ovate’ enclosure was one of many archaeological sites identified for inclusion in the Bathscape Project. The survey was thorough, but was unable to confirm that the earthworks in Paddock Field were part of the same ‘ovate’ enclosure as that showing on the west of the road. However, a likely Roman road was found. Further geophysical work is needed to the west of the road where the western side of the enclosure is better defined.
Lansdown 2019 Monument Field, Lansdown. LEAP season 2. January 2019John Oswin and Janet Pryke
This geophysical survey was set on Monument Field on Lansdown, Bath and North East Somerset, immediately south of the Grenville Memorial. The magnetometry survey indicated the extent of the pre-historic/Romano British settlement found in the south-west corner of Settlement Field and showed that it extended under the wall some 150 m westwards and 150 m northwards from the south-east corner of Monument Field. This was supported by evidence from magnetic susceptibility and twin-probe resistance. Ground disturbance extending north-west from the settlement appeared to relate to the Battle of Lansdown, fought in this field in July 1643. A number of long lines of straight sections joined at angles probably relate to practice trenches dug in World War 1 (1914-1918). The survey also showed a former pond, an area which may have also been a pond, but may be a small henge, and a probable barrow.
Lansdown 2018 Little Down Field, Upper Farm, Upper Langridge, BathJohn Oswin, Janet Pryke and Robin Holley
In March 2018, BACAS undertook a geophysical survey of extant earthworks known as the ‘Romano-British Settlement’ in a triangle shaped field to the east of Sir Bevil Grenville’s Monument. This site is a scheduled monument, Site No. 1004527. Several anomalies of an archaeological origin are clearly visible. Cut features such as banks, ditches, walls and structural features have been identified on the ground and in both the resistance and gradiometer data.
Laverton 2018 Laverton, Somerset, Field east of the Piggery, Geophysical Survey, December 2018John Oswin
The surveyed area showed a round feature some 20 m across, possibly all that remains of a barrow, with a short linear feature to the west of it. These were just within the southern edge of the plot, so there may be further archaeological detail just to the south. Nearer to the eastern edge is a large ditched enclosure with a right angle corner but with a wavy western side and with a probable entrance to the north. At the entrance, the western ditch terminated in a large pit. There are signs of an eastern side to this enclosure, but the geophysics on this side is indistinct. There is no direct dating evidence for this enclosure, but the entrance seems to point at the massive Peart Villa (surveyed in 2003 – 2004), 1 km to the north, and this may imply a Roman origin. There are also signs of numerous pits within the survey area.
Laverton 2009 Geophysical survey in Laverton Churchyard, 2008 – 2009John Oswin and Philip Day
This work continued from a geophysical survey conducted in 2006, which possibly showed a building in the southern portion of the churchyard. There is some sort of stone structure under the southern portion of the churchyard, but it is unlikely to be a dwelling or earlier church
Little Bredy 2012 Observations of Possible Megalithic Structures in the Valley of Stones, Little Bredy, DorsetJohn Oswin
The purpose of this report is draw attention to some stone assemblages, which may be worthy of detailed survey, and be found to be man-made rather than natural. The Valley of Stones and its environs also contain particularly fine groups of ‘Celtic’ prehistoric fields
Little Chalfield 2017 Little Chalfield LawnsRob Arkell
Resistance and magnetometry surveys were carried out in the grounds of Little Chalfield Manor to look for evidence of earlier medieval buildings. The magnetometry survey revealed a portion of a circular feature twenty metres in diameter. A trench through the feature discovered a ditch containing bronze age pottery in the ditch fill. This suggests the feature is the remains of a ploughed out round barrow similar to others in the vicinity. The resistivity survey did not show any linear high resistance features which could be interpreted as walls but one pattern of low resistance was investigated. A trench across the feature contained demolition rubble (mortar, plaster, window glass and building stone fragments) which indicated that a building, thought to be the medieval manor which was demolished in 1830, had stood nearby.
Little Solsbury Hill 2014 Little Solsbury Hill Camp Geophysical Survey, Batheaston, Somerset 2012John Oswin and Rick Buettner
Marston Mill, Frome 2023 Supplement to The Frome Francisca, SOM-C39446, Fieldwork at Marston Mill, 2020-2021, Trial trenches 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7John Oswin and Gillian Vickery
Continuing work through 2020 and 2021 at and close to, Marston Mill, Spring Gardens, Frome is reported here. This is the location of a metal detector find of a Roman/post-Roman throwing axe, SOM-C39446, discovered in 2019. The report includes summaries of trenches 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Marston Mill, Frome 2022 The Frome Francisca: fieldwork at Marston Mill, 2020-2021John Oswin and Gillian Vickery
Continuing the series on fieldwork at the find spot of the Frome Francisca, SOMC39446, a post-Roman throwing axe, this report covers much of the test pitting in Barn Close in 2020, but does not cover trenches 1 and 2, which are reported elsewhere. It also covers geophysical survey in neighbouring Millhayes paddock and garden, and in Eagles Mead to the north-west. Both the trenches and geophysics have informed the continuing discussion on the archaeological context of the francisca.
Marston Mill, Frome 2021 Marston Mill, Spring Gardens, Frome, Somerset. Archaeological Evaluation Report for the Three Trenches at the Axe Site.Robin Holley
BACAS was involved in work at Marston Mill, Spring Gardens, Frome, when a local metal detectorist found a Francisca, a continental iron throwing axe of a style dating between 450 and 550AD. The owner of the site invited the society to carry out a survey of the field and an excavation where the axe was recovered.
Nether Compton 2011 The Nether Compton Roman coin hoard in its archaeological contextJohn Oswin
A hoard of some 22,500 Roman coins was unearthed in Nether Compton parish in Dorset by a member of the Yeovil Metal Detector Club in 1989. It remained in Dorset County Museum without the resources to study it for a number of years before it was retrieved, broken up and sold, so it was never fully analysed. There was no indication of archaeological remains in the field where it was found, although there were unsubstantiated rumours of there being a Roman villa in the field to the west. A geophysical survey was carried out by BACAS and this indicated significant Roman and possible pre-Roman activity in the fields
Newton Park 2019 Bath Spa University, Newton Park Campus, Dog Kennel Wood area, Interim Report, Geophysics, March 2019John Oswin
Geophysical survey conducted on the mound next to the playing fields in the Dog Kennel Wood area of the Newton Park Campus of Bath Spa University showed it to be encircled by an ovoid stone ring with a break on its southern side.
Odd Down 2022 Bath Workhouse Burial Ground Geophysical Survey 2022
John Richards and John Oswin
BACAS was invited by friends of Bath Workhouse Burial Ground and Bathscape to carry out a survey of a green field next to the Wellsway, Odd Down, Bath. This land is where 3,192 bodies were buried between 1858 and 1899 in unmarked graves. They were inmates from the Bath Union Workhouse on Frome Road. The survey was carried out in November 2022. We hoped to identify if there were any signs of burial plots or pits. Although we did not identify the outlines of any pit, we were able to show there were cuts into the bedrock consistent with the use of pits. We were also able to confirm the arrangement of formal paths and the original boundary of the burial ground.
Paul’s Wood 2019 Paul’s Wood, Temple Cloud, Geophysical Survey, 2018Fiona Medland and John Oswin
An open hilltop site between Temple Cloud and Cameley (Bath and North-East Somerset) was investigated using geophysics techniques in 2018. The major portion of a rectangular site with rounded edges and an entrance on the north-west corner could be picked out. From its shape, the site was assumed to be of Roman date, but very poorly executed. It could be later.
Peart 2007 Peart Roman VillaJohn Oswin
The presence of Roman structures in the area between Peart Woods and Chatley was known to the Revd. John Skinner in the 1820s. Fieldwork by John Prescott in the 1980s had shown pottery scatters in the area. In October 2003, BACAS carried out a geophysical survey. Trial excavations were carried out in April and May 2004
Prior Park 2023 Prior Park Bason 2023Tim Lunt and David Stubbs
When Ralph Allen built Prior Park mansion in the 1740s he established a formal garden with advice from the poet Alexander Pope and this is shown in the famous Walker engraving of 1750. Together with statuary and walks around the garden a circular Bason pool can be seen which at the time lay at the northern extent of Allen’s estate below the house. The excavation by National Trust and Bath and Counties Archaeology Society (BACAS) volunteers in July 2023 found remains of the dam wall for the Bason pool; a possible later cascade which then took the spring water that had fed the pool down to the lower lakes; and parts of the buried water culvert network on the hillside.
Prior Park 2022 Prior Park, Bath House 2022, BathTim Lunt and David Stubbs
Previous work in 2019, 2020 and 2021 discovered the site of a building to the north of the east wing of Prior Park Mansion (St. Peter’s today) which had been thought to have been first built as a Pineapple House before later conversion to a Bath House. The excavation of the cold bath was backfilled for safety reasons in 2021 leaving the east end of the building exposed. Further geophysics and excavation in 2022 examined the resistivity profile across the Bath House, the external features of the walls and underneath the east end floor. Finds were limited but included another batch of C18 Delft tile fragments. A separate culvert and a modern sewer pipe were also uncovered, both seen as later features unconnected to the Bath House.
Prior Park 2021 The Cold Bath, Prior Park, BathTim Lunt and David Stubbs
Previous work in 2019 and 2020 discovered the site of a building to the north of the east wing of Prior Park Mansion (St. Peter’s today) which was thought to have been first built as a Pineapple House before later conversion to a Bath House. Further excavation aided by mechanical digger followed in 2021 to reveal much of the north side of the building together with the Bath cavity.
Prior Park 2020 The Pineapple House, Prior Park, BathTim Lunt and David Stubbs
Ralph Allen, the Bath stone entrepreneur of Combe Down, built Prior Park Mansion in the 1730s and like many wealthy men of the time sought to grow pineapples in his garden. Geophysical survey and exacavation has confirmed the loacation of his pineapple house.
Prior Park 2018 Monument Field, Prior Park, BathTim Lunt
Monument Field at Prior Park is named for Ralph Allen’s Monument, built circa 1766 by Bishop Warburton following Allen’s death, which was demolished due to its dangerous condition in 1953. An earlier Gothic Lodge on the same site from the 16th century or earlier seems to have formed part of the later Monument. In addition the Wansdyke, dug circa 6th century, possibly crossed the field. Geophysical survey has confirmed that there is stonework probably related to the Monument and Lodge structures in an area which relates to the mapped position. A bank and ditch which may be the Wansdyke also exists as shown on the 1939 map.
Priston 2017 Priston – Pensdown, March 2017John Oswin and John Richards
Geophysical survey was conducted in March 2017 in pursuit of Roman structures on the southern slopes and approach to Pensdown Hill, Priston
Priston 2016 Geophysics at Priston 2015 and 2016John Oswin
A survey of Goosemead, to the north of already-surveyed Town Hill, had to be abandoned in 2015 when vital equipment failed. It did not prove possible to return to the field because of incompatible agricultural use. A survey in 2016 concentrated on Inland, a triangular paddock to the south-west of Town Hill, immediately across a lane from that field. This showed significant activity, including half of a sub-circular enclosure at its western end.
Priston 2014 Geophysical Survey on Town Hill, Priston, Somerset, 2014John Oswin
An area of approximately 4 ha was subject to geophysical survey in the field called Town Hill in Priston parish, just to the west of the village. The survey indicated a field system of curving ditches on the far west of the field, probably extending under the Marksbury lane, which is probably prehistoric in date, also with a possible round house at the south end of the survey, on the plateau. Towards the north end of the field, at the bottom of the north-facing slope, there were signs of activity around an earlier stream path. In the far north-east of the field there were signs of a substantial structure, which probably extended north into Goose Mead and east under Mill Lane.
Priston 2008 Geophysical Survey at PristonJayne Lawes
BACAS conducted a combined Geophysical Survey of the field known as Great Barn Close at Priston at the request of Priston Millennium Committee in October to November 2007. The survey was requested as part of a wider study of the Parish and because of the find of a Roman burial in the field in 1917. This report includes some of the information from Wedlake’s excavations as well as combining surveys of the field
Roman Baths, Bath 2019 The Roman Baths, Bath. Archway Project, Deep-looking geophysics, April 2019John Oswin
A number of resistivity profiles were measured within the precincts of the Roman Baths at Bath in order to continue the search for the drain from the Hetling Spring. The requirement was to look deeper than had been done in the survey of January 2018. In order to look down the requested 4 m, lines of at least 25 m, preferably 31 m had to be found, and these had to be north-south profiles in order to intercept an eastwest drain. This raised the need to find spaces where such lines could be set up, even if they were diagonal. An extra space, the vaults under Stall Street, was also investigated. One possible deep location was noted, along with other possible shallow sites, but there was no good corroboration between the profiles to confirm any of these possibilities.
Roman Baths, Bath 2018 The Roman Baths, Bath, Archway Project, Geophysical Survey, January 2018John Oswin
The geophysical survey was undertaken as the first part of archaeological work in the vaults to the south of the Great Bath in the Roman Baths at Bath. There were two areas under the vaults to be surveyed, and these were separated by a single wall. Twin-probe resistance survey, where possible, and resistivity profiles were carried out. Resistivity profiles to a depth of 2 m proved the most useful technique. Most features were observed at approximately 1 m depth. These included a number of probable drains running to the centre line of the area. Between this central line and the wall of the Great Bath, there was another substantial feature from 1 m depth downwards, midway along this area, not previously identified. Other techniques tried included thermal imaging and ground-penetrating radar.
Royal Crescent 2021 Lawn below the Royal Crescent Ha-ha, Bath: further geophysical studyJanet Pryke and John Oswin
The lawn below the Royal Crescent Ha-ha in Bath was part of an archaeological investigation in 2002 for a Time Team television programme on Channel 4. In this they confirmed the route of and excavated a known Roman road across this lawn, and also revealed and excavated a ditch containing Bronze Age remains. Our previous work extended the geophysical part of this work, and we obtained some results indicating other possible developments in the area. This is a continuation of this work. This shows a linear high resistivity feature extending from the north west towards the south east under the lawn, appearing to at depth beyond the proposed Roman road line. This is adjacent to and parallel to a very deep and wide low resistivity volume crossing the area. Our results also indicate differential resistivity results at depth below the soil. These may indicate that these areas may have been filled or levelled over time, a process either manmade or following down-slip from the hillside, with subsequent development on the new ground level.
Royal Crescent 2014 Areas near the Royal Crescent, Bath: A report on geophysics surveys by BACAS, September and December 2013Janet Pryke and John Oswin
The lawn below the Royal Crescent Ha-ha in Bath had been the site of a geophysics investigation in 2012 by BACAS. This project has been extended and added to by this work making further surveys in areas near the Royal Crescent
Royal Crescent 2013 The lawn below the Royal Crescent Ha-ha, Bath: A report on geophysical surveys by BACAS, June and October 2012Janet Pryke and John Oswin
The lawn below the Royal Crescent Ha-ha in Bath was part of an archaeological investigation in 2002 for a Time Team television programme on Channel 4. In this they confirmed the route of and excavated a known Roman road down across this lawn, and also excavated nearby burials. They also revealed and excavated a Late Bronze Age ditch. This project extends the geophysics part of this work, and demonstrated that the Late Bronze Age ditch is extended to an enclosure. This work also investigated a large ditch-like formation running from NE towards the SW across the lawn, and other features including an area with pit-like chambers below the ground.
Royal Victoria Park, Bath 2020 Royal Victoria Park, Bath, west of the Royal CrescentJanet Pryke and John Oswin
A series of geophysics surveys over the accessible areas in the section of the Royal Victoria Park between the Upper Bristol Road and Weston roads in Bath has been completed over the past four years. We know of settlements earlier in history including from Bronze Age through to Roman to the north, east and south of this work. However our results indicate no significant human habitation areas in this area, although they do indicate the remains of considerable activity. This is shown by a large number of long (mostly straight) linear features, many of which cross the area in several directions but bear little relation to the known boundaries of the eighteenth century common fields or the areas making up the current Park. Some of them relate to the routing of water through the area, and we may have detected the possible remains of an old NE/SW roadway. The remaining interpretation of the majority of these remains waits for further knowledge of the history and management of the area.