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Prehistoric Shillington

A reconstruction of an Iron Age round house at Flag Fen October 2011
A reconstruction of an Iron 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 earliest objects found in the parish so far belong to the Bronze Age. An early to mid-Bronze Age serrated arrowhead was found in December 2005 [HER 18535].

A copper alloy bead found with a metal detector near Chibley Farm may be Bronze Age or Iron Age in date [HER 18985]. An Iron Age coin was found near the farm in 2007 [HER 18483]. Iron Age occupation has been found north-east of Shillington Bury. Before a pipeline was constructed in the 1990s a geophysical survey and trial excavation at the Bury found four linear features, post holes, pits and hearths. The settlement may be mid to late Iron Age. It lies on the crest of the hill [HER 15851].

An Iron Age brooch was discovered in May 2008 north-west of Northley Farm [HER 18587]. It is thought to date between 400 and 100 BC. Iron Age pottery has also been found east of Apsley End [HER 16326], the settlement possibly extending into the Roman period.

Cropmarks, seen in growing crops from the air, often show the presence of ancient ditches and walls. Without excavation it is often not possible to assign a definite period to them and so they are often assumed to be prehistoric unless they obviously match the pattern of, say, a Roman villa or medieval priory. A number of these cropmarks have been identified around the parish. South-east of The Camp are small enclosures and other irregular linear features, including a possible ring ditch. Ring ditches are the remains of round barrows and so belong to the Bronze Age [HER 1803]. East of Shillington Mill is a large, irregular enclosure associated with a number of lines [HER 16767]. Another enclosure has been identified north of Apsley Bury Wood [HER 9412]. Circular cropmarks, possible forming another ring ditch, have been identified nearby around the wood [HER 14767].