Search for the Battle of Assandun

The Search for the Site of the Battle of Assandun


            The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the Hadstock Society a grant of £7,300 to carry out a geophysical survey of Red Field.  Last October, thanks to John Barker, farmer and owner of the field, Magnitude Surveys Ltd. carried out magnetic, fluxgate gradiometry,  and electromagnetic induction surveys of a large part of the field.  As we expected, the infill of the old railway line interfered badly with the results near its course, but two possible burial pits were found, which will need further examination.   We hope to have a Dig in 2017 after harvest.  We are also investigating the chance of trying deep ground radar, taking vertical “slices” in the pits, which might show up burials better.


            There was also a lot of evidence for probably Iron Age and Roman activity.  Sunken Church Field at the Northern edge of the field was the site of the Roman villa and previous aerial photos had shown an Iron Age ring ditch feature in the NE corner.  These results seem to be associated with many years of occupation, perhaps connected with Barham.  There were also signs of mediaeval ridge and furrow ploughing, and field boundaries from many periods. 


            A geophysical survey was also carried out in St. Botolph’s Churchyard by magnetic and earth resistance methods.  Old paths show up quite well and there is strong magnetic disturbance round the Church itself, probably caused when the Building was first put up, but there is some evidence for the original Chancel being nearly 3 metres longer than the present one, as we know from previous results and the measurements given in an 18th Century drawing of its floor plan and graves of past Rectors.