Souldrop Before the Iron Age
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 earliest finds from Souldrop are two small flint blades of Mesolithic date. One was found in September 2007 [HER 20908] the other in May 2009 [HER 20166].
A flint axe was found in March 2010 [HER19791] and belongs to the Neolithic period. It was small, with a straight cutting edge and had been well-worked into shape. Flint tools continued to be used right through the Bronze Age as they were easier to make and the source material was readily available, whereas copper and tin had to be traded for. A re-touched flint scraper from the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age was found in May 2009 [HER 20165]. An incomplete flint arrowhead [HER 19963] had one finished and one unfinished barb, perhaps due to a natural flaw in the flint which rendered it useless and led to it being discarded.
Cropmarks show up in crops, as a crop will not grow so well where its roots are not so deep, as when they encounter a buried structure like a wall. A number of cropmarks have been observed from the air in the parish and, without excavation, can only be ascribed as “prehistoric”.
- Cropmarks north-east of Berry Spring Wood show a group of rectangular enclosures [HER 14011]
- Cropmarks north-west of Colworth Thicket show a string of small curved enclosures attached to a line [HER 14012]
- A cropmark north of Berry Spring Wood is shaped like a trapezium (a distorted rectangle)[HER 14013]
- A cropmark in the north of the parish shows a small roughly rectangular enclosure [HER 15030]
- Cropmarks north of Halsey Wood show three small enclosures [HER 16557]
- Cropmarks east of Forty Foot Lane show two small enlosures [HER 16558]