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Goldington Before 1086

A reconstruction of an Bronze Age round house at Flag Fen October 2011
A reconstruction of a Bronze Age age round house at Flag Fen October 2011

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The oldest evidence of human activity in Goldington might date to the Mesolithic period - an antler used to mount a flint blade which was dredged from the River Great Ouse in 1947 and is now in the British Museum [HER 9841]. However, having been found in the river, the artefact may have come from another location upstream and some question the Mesolithic date, preferring to label it Neolithic.

Another artefact which may belong to one of two periods is a barbed and tanged flint arrowhead found in the garden of 108 Brookfield Road [HER 16041]. This may be Neolithic or early Bronze Age. Flint tools continued to be used during the Bronze Age as the material was plentiful and things like arrowheads were quicker to make from a piece of flint than from copper and tin.

A site south of Goldington, identified from cropmarks, and which was largely destroyed in the 1980s seems to have been occupied in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, through into the Iron Age and even the Romano-British period. Henges, Neolithic monuments and ring ditches, Bronze Age evidence which may be the remains of round barrows, were both identified along with an Iron Age and/or Romano-British field system. Neolithic or Bronze Age flint flakes and a Bronze Age urn were both also found.

Another Iron Age and Romano-British site lies along Goldington Road [MBB 21833]. Ditches and a trackway have been identified on either side of the modern road. The ditch on the north side contained pottery from around the time of the Roman invasion [43 AD]. The trackway on the southern side of today’s road revealed a Mesolithic or Neolithic flint flake.

Two definitely Roman finds have been made in Goldington. In 1868 Captain Brown presented a small bronze coin he had found at Goldington to a meeting of Bedford Architectural and Archaeological Society [X69/16]. More recently Roman pottery and animal bones were recovered from the site of 18 The Risings [HER 17730].