Site Code.

STEYNING11 Site identification Huddlestone Farm, Steyning and address County, district West Sussex and / or borough O.S. grid ref. TQ195135 Geology. Lower Greensand, Weald Clay, River Terrace, Alluvium Project number. SNUFFLER1104 Fieldwork type. Geophysics Site type. Date of fieldwork. August-October 2011 Sponsor/client. IHRG Project manager. David Staveley Project supervisor. Period summary Project summary. (100 word max) Roman A series of magnetometer surveys to attempt to locate Roman occupation near the Sussex Greensand Way as it crosses the River Adur.

A Geophysical Survey of Roman Occupation at Huddlestone Farm, Steyning
by David Staveley
Introduction A theory developed in the mind of the author of this report that Roman occupation was particularly common where Roman roads crossed rivers, particularly a form of square double-ditched enclosure with rounded corners that contained, amongst other things, a mansio. Such river crossing settlements can be seen at Hardham and Alfoldean on Stane Street. Fieldwork was undertaken by the Independant Historical Research Group to test this theory. Initial research found that a local metal detectorist had found “bucketfuls” of Roman coins across the area as a whole, and provided some information on where to look. Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Robin Hodgkinson of IHRG in particular for research, dealing with local landowners and arranging help with the surveys, as well as helping with the surveys themselves. Thanks also to members of IHRG and BHAS for helping out with the surveys, and also to Tim, the landowner, and Neil, the ploughman, for their support of the project. The Local Area

In the above image, the River Adur is shown as a thick dark blue line, with the flood plain shown as a light blue shaded area. Ivan Margary's line for the Sussex Greensand Way is shown as a light blue line, with the new corrected course for the road shown as a green line where certain, and an orange line where uncertain. The letters on the map denote features that will be enumerated below. Feature A This is the site of an excavation of the road course by Ivan Margary in his book 'Roman Ways in the Weald' (pages 175, 176, 183 & 184). The road followed a field boundary, now gone, that destroyed much of the road, leaving a small amount of flint metalling.

Feature B Neil, the ploughman, noted that in the approximate position (OSGB36 518897,113466) marked on the map (just south of a telegraph pole in the field), the plough sounded as if it were skipping along a flint surface for some distance. Unfortunately the field was rented from another landowner, who was unwilling to allow a geophysical survey. Feature C Roman tile is marked as being found here on the West Sussex HER. Feature D The owner of the house here mentioned that three Roman coins had been found whilst digging a hole in the back garden. Unfortunately the coins were no longer in her possession. Feature E This is Survey Area 1, which is discussed in greater detail in the surveys section of this report. What is presumed to be one of the road ditches shows up here. Feature F This is the location of Survey Area 2, and also the location of a substantial amount of Roman pottery, mainly grey wares and sandy wares, with a little samian. A large area of Roman occupation can be seen on the geophysics results, with the road being roughly 80m from Margary's line. It has been noted that some of the coins found are from this area. Feature G Part of a causeway crossing the floodplain can be seen here on the Google Earth imagery of 2001. The feature is approximately 18 metres wide. Nothing can be seen on the ground however. Feature H A further part of the causeway crossing the floodplain can be seen here on the Bing maps imagery at the time of writing. The feature is not as clear as the western part of the causeway shown on the Google Earth imagery. It leads to a presumed crossing on the river where Margary has the crossing, suggesting that the deviation in the road's course is only on the western side of the River Adur. Feature I A substantial amount of Roman pottery was found here, again mainly grey wares and sandy wares. It is known that some of the Roman coins found also came from this location. Feature J This is Survey Area 3, which due to the soil conditions, discussed further below, turned up nothing. Feature K A small amount of Roman pottery was found here.

Feature L A small amount of Roman pottery was found here. This is also the location of what used to be a small, square field, now gone, but shown on 1940's arial photographs. Parallels with the mansio enclosures suggest themselves, especially as the field was roughly the same size as the Alfoldean enclosure. Feature M Wyckham Farm lies here. The name, or variations of it, is common around old Roman sites, and is presumed to derive from the latin vicus.

Survey Area 1
Methodology The magnetometer survey was undertaken by IHRG using a GRAD601-2 using 40x40m grids, with lines spaced 1 metre apart and 4 readings per metre along the line, walking north-south. The data was processed using Snuffler with despike, destripe and interpolation (X only) filters applied. Positioning The grids were set out and recorded using a total station and an arbitrary grid. Two resection points and the survey area are described in the table below. Description RS1 : N edge of N gatepost of gate in SW corner of field RS2 : E edge of N gatepost of gate in W edge of field SW corner of survey area SE corner of survey area NE corner of survey area Grid North 418.78 533.25 500 500 620 Grid East 450.21 472.18 500 540 540

Results

Interpretation The results were magnetically messy on the western side of the survey, most likely due to the proximity of some old derelict farm buildings just to the west. Unfortunately further progress north from this point was hampered by a large pile of manure. A linear is shown as heading east-west near the northern edge of the survey area. This is presumed to be the southern ditch of the Roman road, as it lines up exactly with the southern road ditch leaving survey area 2 at the bottom of the hill. The ditch does seem to make a slight deviation to the north as it heads further west, but the possible flint surface found at Feature B on the main map is further to the south. The course of the road is likely complicated in this area, but no doubt eventually returns to Margary's original course.

Survey Area 2
Methodology The magnetometer survey was undertaken by IHRG using a GRAD601-2 using 40x40m grids, with lines spaced 1 metre apart and 4 readings per metre along the line, walking north-south. The data was processed using Snuffler with despike, destripe and interpolation (X only) filters applied. Positioning The grids were set out and recorded using a total station and an arbitrary grid. Two resection points and the survey area are described in the table below. Description RS1 : SE face of SW concrete post on railway bridge RS2 : S face of E metal gatepost of gate N edge of field SW corner of survey area SE corner of survey area NW corner of survey area (not including protrusion at the top) Results Grid North 332.68 588.64 420 420 580 Grid East 775.53 601.84 420 688 (approx) 420

Interpretation

Areas marked in purple are geological, presumably Gley associated with the adjacent flood plain. The areas in red are presumably modern. The spur at the top-centre of the image seems to be a continuation of a drainage ditch, since ploughed over and included in the field. The line to the west running north-south may be an old field boundary. Areas marked in green are presumed to be Roman archaeology, though some of the smaller features may be metal junk. Margary's line for the road is shown in light-blue, and the corrected line for the road is shown as dark-blue. The geography of the field should be noted at this point. Towards the north and east, the field drops steeply away into the flood plain of the River Adur. The land rises to the west, climbing the greensand ridge all the way up the field. There is a small, flat terrace interrupting this climb in the centre-west of the image, and it is here that the greatest density of archaeological features can be seen. This is because the features in the sloping areas are buried under a deeper layer of colluvium than on the terrace. Archaeological features may be as dense in the sloping areas, but that is not reflected in the survey results. If the red line on the interpretation is indeed an old field boundary, the terrace may be, in part, a negative lynchet.

The Roman road shows clearest in this terrace section. The distance between the (inner) road ditches is 14.5 metres at this point. Three smaller tracks lead to the north, and an area of occupation lies to the south of the road, marked out by boundary ditches and containing a number of strongly magnetic features. A further track lies to the east, running north-south near the area of gley, and another possible track runs ESE to the south of the clearest area of occupation. Three of the tracks on the survey, as well as the main road itself, seem to show a central magnetic road surface, perhaps greensand blocks. These features seem thin compared to the expected width of a road surface, perhaps due to cambering. There are a number of small turns in the road as it climbs off of the floodplain, as the road negotiates the changing geography, but it seems that there are no further turns in the main road climbing the hill until survey area 1.

Survey Area 3
Methodology The magnetometer survey was undertaken by IHRG using a GRAD601-2 using 40x40m grids, with lines spaced 1 metre apart and 4 readings per metre along the line, walking east-west. The data was processed using Snuffler with despike, destripe and interpolation (Y only) filters applied. Positioning The grids were set out and recorded using a total station and an arbitrary grid. Four resection points and the survey area are described in the table below. Description RS1 : NE corner of S gate post of entrance to Stretham manor RS2 : Pole vertical N corner of pylon W edge of field RS3 : Pole vertical E corner of pylon W edge of field RS4 : Pole vertical S corner of pylon W edge of field NW corner of survey area SW corner of survey area SE corner of survey area NE corner of survey area Grid North 513.74 463.85 456.87 450.14 500 420 420 500 Grid East 652.80 506.35 513.06 506.02 700 700 780 780

Results

Interpretation After the expected enclosure was not found to the west of the river, it was decided that the area to the east may be more productive, being on relatively flat ground, more suitable for a large area of occupation. Unfortunately, soon after surveying started, it was obvious that something was wrong, as the results were very heavily contaminated with metal trash, and resembled static on a television. Talking to the farmer and ploughman, it was found that several years previously, the drainage of the soil had been improved by ploughing several tonnes of unwanted foil-backed gypsum plasterboard into the ground. It was unclear what metal the foil was made of, but it was obviously not aluminium. Scanning with the magnetometer across all of the arable fields to east of the river revealed that they had all been treated in this way, which brought further research to a grinding halt. There is no doubt substantial Roman occupation of some sort east of the river, judging by the distribution of pottery and coins, but it will not be found with geophysics.