(Area: ST 568583) An IA/RB agricultural settlement of some 15 acres was excavated between 1953-55 by E. Greenfield at Herriotts Bridge. The site, on land sloping from SW to NE, comprised two 10 acre fields which lay between the West Harptree - Bishop Sutton Road and Stratford Lane.
The earliest finds from the site are a number of NE/BA patinated flints. They are not suggestive of settled prehistoric occupation.
The excavation revealed a complex system of drainage ditches whose purpose was both domestic and agricultural. Many post holes were found and although no distinct timber house or hut plan was identified the various post hole groups suggest that there were habitation structures as well as supports for corn drying racks etc. Two enclosures were found in the SW half of the site. A large triangular cattle pen was of the 2nd c. and, to the south, was a 3rd/4th c. pen probably used for sheep.
Access to the site was doubtless from Stratford Lane (R.R. 540) but no path or roadway was found.
The occupation of the site was one of continuous development from its inception in the I.A. third phase until the late 1st/early 2nd c. During the 3rd c. it began to decline. The finds are in Bristol Museum and include:- ......... four inhumation burials. Fragments of Quern stones, pottery, a coin of Claudius II, brooches, a bronze bracelet, a shale bracelet, a spoon, a small pewter bowl and glass beads. (1)
This site is now beneath Chew Valley Lake. (2)
A Roman settlement on the bank of the River Chew during the 1st to early 4th centuries AD. There was considerable occupation, particularly by the river bank, and it was extensively drained by superimposed ditch systems.
No stone buildings occurred but traces of minor timber structures were found over the whole of the area examined. No signs of industrial use of the site were found, except for some domestic lead smelting. The evidence suggests a farming community throughout its occupation, living in difficult conditions. (3)
One flint blade found at Herriots Bridge, possibly Late Upper Palaeolithic. (4-5)