This week I ‘escaped’ from the office for a few hours to visit the Pond Farm excavations (see blog post from the 12th August). Thank you to Cathie Barnett and Nick Pankhurst for giving us a tour of the Pond Farm site.
ABOUT POND FARM HILLFORT – ‘The summit of the hill at The Frith was once protected all the way round by a huge man-made bank and ditch. Today areas of the bank still rise 2.5 metres above ground but were likely much higher in the past. The southern portion of the hillfort defences have been levelled in recent centuries and can no longer be seen on the ground. However, traces of the bank and ditch there are still visible occasionally as cropmarks and using geophysical surveys. You could once only have entered the interior through one or two restricted and probably fortified entranceways. It is believed to have been built in the Iron Age, around 2000 or more years ago but there is no firm evidence yet to confirm this.’
You can visit both sites from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4.30pm. They are not open weekends except Sunday 13th September. If you intend to come in a larger group please let them know in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org so they can welcome and accommodate everyone. Please be aware that parking at Little Heath car park for Pond Farm is severely limited so do share a lift or arrange drop offs there or at Little Cottages. Access to Pond Farm is on foot via permitted paths (shown on the map) by kind permission of the Englefield Estate. It’s a pleasant and relatively easy, approx 10 minutes walk within Benyon’s Enclosure up to the hillfort but may not be suitable for everyone. Cycling is not allowed.
For Silchester Insula III please park in the public car park and follow the footpath to the Roman town and the excavation. For directions to Silchester Roman Town public car park visit: reading.ac.uk/silchester. You will be able to see the archaeologists at work on both sites but there will also be finds and environmental processing going on at Insula III. For safety reasons there will be strictly no access to the trenches themselves but you will be able to see them being excavated. There will also be a Public Open Day at the end of the dig at both excavations, on Sunday Sept 13th 10-4.30pm.
Below are a few photographs from the visit: