Burnt mound discovered on site

22 April 2022

As part of our preparation for Phase 1 enabling works, you may have seen Wessex Archaeology on-site completing evaluation trial trenching. This consists of digging a shallow trench to examine the archaeological potential of a site. The team has made an exciting discovery, a Bronze Age archaeological feature called a burnt mound.

Burnt mounds are a prominent feature in the middle to late Bronze Age (1600–700BC) landscape and are normally located near a waterway. During our excavations at the site, a burnt mound made up of burnt stone and charcoal has been discovered within the boundary of one of the community parks.

There are lots of theories about what burnt mounds were used for, these range from building boats to making alcohol and even creating saunas. The most interesting aspect of a burnt mound is that its purpose still largely remains a mystery, but there are lots of scientific techniques which can be applied to the feature to help us try and unravel it.

Elsewhere on-site, we have found physical evidence, such as waterlogged ditches and subsequent reed growth, that match the historic Brewood Parish Boundary.

We’ve carried out a huge amount of archaeological work already – opening around 400 trenches across the site. The shallow trenches are 50 metres in length and up to 1.8 metres wide and are used to decide whether more detailed archaeological work is needed.

In the next stage, following instruction from the county archaeologist, the area around the burnt mound will be opened up further to try to fully understand the mound and its surrounding landscape.

To find out more about evaluation trial trenching, please click here.