Archaeological Open Day Success At Grange Paddocks

Eric Buckmaster (on right) pictured on a site visit to the archaeological excavations at Grange Paddocks.  Talking to one of the archaeologists.
Over 700 people attended guided tours at Grange Paddocks on Saturday for a rare opportunity to see artefacts that date back to Roman times, uncovered as part of the archaeological excavations undertaken for the footprint of the new 3G football pitch. Around a further 300 people dropped by to view the findings on display.

A roman road, possible temple, coins, and pottery are just some of the findings archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology have found.  Items that can be removed from the site will be preserved by the Bishop’s Stortford Museum.

 A cemetery was also unearthed, from which skeletal remains have been exhumed for analysis.   The graves were aligned east to west which hints that the cemetery dates back to an era when the Roman Empire switched to Christianity.  Metal spearheads were also discovered, together with a Caltrop – a Roman area denial weapon – similar to spike strips that police deploy to stop cars today.   

Here are just some of the comments left by visitors on the day:

  • “What a fantastic site (sight!) Excellent displays and tour.”
  • “I used to play here as a child - I can't believe this was under my feet all the time!”

Eric Buckmaster, Executive Member of wellbeing at East Herts Council, visited the site last week.  He said:

 “This excavation reminds us all that we are not the first to tread this land.  The archaeologists working on site explained that their findings tell them this was a settlement on a major transport route, not dissimilar to Bishop’s Stortford today with its major road and rail connections. 

“I hoped that residents visiting at the weekend would find the visit as interesting as I did, and from the feedback received by Oxford Archaeology it seems that was certainly the case.”