History – Iron Age

700 BC to 43 AD

Currently, there is little evidence of Iron Age activity within the parish. This is probably due to a typical lack of evidence for Iron Age sites, the small time frame (less than 750 years) and because no one has yet looked for this specific period.

WJ Arkell in “A Regional Essay” suggests that the name Burton Grove Farm means fortified farm and that the site is likely to have a prehistoric origin. There is a spring there, and they are usually of special significance to ancient peoples.

Given the great deal of Iron Age activity surrounding South Marston, (for instance, the Ridgeway has numerous Iron Age forts along it) it is likely that Iron Age farms would have been present, at least on the higher ground away from the current village centre.

There is some evidence for this.

To the west of the village centre, Middle Iron Age features have been found. More detail can be found here

Whilst close to there, to the north west of the village centre, there is evidence of activity dated to the Late Iron Age/early Roman period. More detail can be found here.

Finally, iron stone has been fo und to the north of the village centre, and in a few other areas. A quarry exists to the north of the village that may have been used for the extraction of iron stone. As yet, we do not know when the quarry was in use, or what was taken from it.

Iron StoneThe photo’ shows a variety of samples of iron stone found near the quarry.

As a guide to scale, the squarish piece (left most in the middle row) is approximately 5cm x 5cm and weighs 120g. The total weight of these pieces is 1170g. These samples are all poor quality, containing very little iron, but they may have been discarded for this reason.

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