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PADDOCK HILL

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A circular enclosure at Paddock Hill, Thwing, originally identified as a cropmark site. Excavation was undertaken between 1973 and 1987 by T Manby, intitially under the assumption that the site was a henge. However, the excavations revealed a long and complex sequence of use of the site. The earliest activity was represented by some flints of Mesolithic date, including microliths, cores and flakes. Earlier Neolithic activity was also represented solely by artefacts, including flint arrowheads, scrapers and stone axes, plus some sherds of Peterborough Ware. The first major constructional phase occurred in the late Neolithic, when a henge comprising a circular ditch circa 60 metres in diameter with external chalk bank was created. Grooved Ware and Beaker sherds are among the finds associated with the henge, which featured opposed north-west and south-east entrances. The earlier Bronze Age is represented primarily by artefacts, including some flint implements and Food Vessel sherds. The site was extensively remodelled in the Later Bronze Age. The silted-up henge ditch was recut, and a central post circle constructed, 17 metres in diameter and surrounding a central pit containing an urned cremation. Artefacts and other debris of Mid-to-late Bronze Age were also present, including evidence for metalworking activity. Next, a more substantial enclosure was constructed comprising a ditch and internal rampart circa 115 metres in diameter, completely enclosing the earlier enclosure. The rampart featured timber revetment and was retained at its rear by a double row of posts. This enclosure also featured opposed entrances on the same alignment as the earlier henge. Roughly contemporary is a ring slot circa 25 metres in diameter, within and concentric to the earlier henge, and interpreted as a large timber building. The next (comparatively minor) use of the site occurred in the Roman period, and is mainly attested by pottery and brooches. (See TA 07 SW 42 for Anglo-Saxon phase).

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