TVeyeBlack Cat Quarry, Bedfordshire | Northern Extension 2016–18
Commercial Archaeology
Project management of phases 11–14 strip-map-sample engagement in association with Archaeological Research Services Ltd.bcn16_spence_2016-12-23_1


Archaeological oversight of aggregates extraction at Black Cat Quarry, near St Neots in Bedfordshire, commenced in 2014. Phased stripping of top- and sub-soils has revealed evidence dating back to the late Neolithic, perhaps earlier and early Bronze Age on a gravel terrace to the north of the River Great Ouse. Land division boundaries are evident, with discoveries including a Romano-British farmstead – rebuilt after a flooding event – and part of a third-century inhumation cemetery containing 15 individuals, along with evidence for Anglo-Saxon activity.bcn16_2017-01-24

Phase 11, adjacent to the A1 at Black Cat roundabout between Sandy and St Neots, is on the site of a recent car-racing circuit still visible on Google Earth images. The latest finds include sherds of plain and decorated Anglo-Saxon pottery, animal bones and, from other features, prehistoric knapped flint tools and pottery dating to the beginning of farming in the Neolithic period.

Left: Anglo-Saxon (Anglian) hand-made, decorated pottery dating to the 6th–early 7th century AD and often associated with funerary practices (December 2016).
Right: Neolithic flint knife, around 5000 years old, recorded during machine stripping along with Grooved Ware pottery, a pit and posthole (January 2017).
© Spencer Carter.

TimeVista Services

  • bcn16_update02cvrProject management as archaeological project officer
  • Watching brief and plant instruction during topsoil-basal deposit removal to identify and map potential archaeological assets
  • Coordination and management of periodic fieldwork engagement (excavation and specialist resources)
  • Maintenance of hard-copy and digital site archives
  • Community engagements and dissemination
  • Post-excavation coordination across artefact, ecofact, bio & palaeo-environmental, dating and conservation specialisms
  • Archive preparation, deposition and publication

TVeyeThe Lost Village of Lodge | Nidderdale BIG DIG 2016
Heritage Lottery Funded Community Project
Excavation, fieldwork training and finds processing for Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership in association with Solstice Heritage.


Lodge is a former medieval grange farm for the Cistercian Byland Abbey that was sold into private ownership following the dissolution of the monasteries in the mid-16th century. The settlement is recorded on Saxton’s map of 1577 as ‘Lodge howses’, and appears on Ordnance Survey maps from the mid-18th century onwards. It was continually occupied up to abandonment in the 1920s. It has not been modified since abandonment and is a typical upland settlement from the 17th century made up of five building complexes based on the traditional Yorkshire longhouse of domestic accommodation at one end and livestock at the other. Currently buildings are visible as footprints with several courses of stonework still standing.

Introductory video (1m 27) by Paul Harris »

Subsequent to an archaeological survey in 2011, the BIG DIG 2016 offered an opportunity to explore one of the five ruined structures and the associated garden area. Up to 18 volunteers attended each day over the two weeks, plus two Bradford University undergraduates, two postgraduates and a sixth-form intern. The excavation focused on one of the farmstead buildings and its garden area, the latter providing many finds from the 19th and early 20th centuries and a ceramic sequence back to the Medieval period – with two residual sherds likely reflecting the monastic foundation in the 12th–13th century. Two flint artefacts attest to Mesolithic activity, c. 8500–4000 BC, in the vicinity.nidderdale_aonb_rgb

“Our ‘Big Dig 2016’ was a great success, and Spencer played a key role in that. The excavations were directed by Solstice Heritage with Spencer supervising volunteers and students from a variety of backgrounds with differing levels of experience. He provided training in aspects of excavation and artefact processing throughout the excavation. In addition, he spent an afternoon with a group of secondary school-aged children, talking though the excavation process and getting them involved. They had a great time.”

– Louise D. Brown, MPhil MCIfA FSA Scot
Historic Nidderdale Project Officer, Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership
Nidderdale AONB

LOD16_LB_01TimeVista Services

  • Team management
  • Health and safety oversight
  • On-site training and supervision of volunteers and student trainees
  • Childrens’ dig experience (9–12 year olds)
  • Finds processing and ‘show and tell’ event at the Crown Hotel, Middlesmoor

TVeyeCharting Chipeling: The Archaeology of the Kiplin Estate | Kiplin Hall, North Yorkshire 2014
Heritage Lottery Funded Community Project
Excavation and fieldwork training for the Kiplin Trust and
Solstice Heritage.

chartingchipelingKiplin Hall sits in a landscape rich in archaeological remains dating from the times of the early hunter-gatherers through to the monastic grange which predated the construction of the well-known Jacobean hall. The project involved local community volunteers, students and schoolchildren taking part in a wide variety of archaeological and historic building recording activities. Jim Brightman of Solstice Heritage was the Lead Archaeologist on the project working with Dr Emma Wells of the EJW Heritage Consultancy, laser scanning specialist Michael Lobb, and a team of field archaeologists including lithics specialist Spencer Carter.

The Charting Chipeling project included landscape and earthwork survey, historic building recording, test-pitting with local primary schools and a fantastic three weeks of excavation. The excavations uncovered a few fascinating windows of alteration in the Kiplin grounds ranging across the 17th to 19th centuries, with evidence of local brick-making, a 19th-century summer house and the early post-medieval estate boundary (re-used for training in WWII). Probably the most interesting story we have been part of is in the unraveling of a sequence of roads from the medieval period through to the present day, as the main road from Richmond to Northallerton was gradually migrated further away from the Hall during the 18th century, creating the Kiplin grounds as we see them today.

Kiplin_PubTimeVista Services

  • Team management
  • Health and safety oversight
  • On-site training and supervision of volunteers and student trainees
  • Analysis of prehistoric lithics
  • Specialist reports for formal publication and archives


Contact TimeVista to discuss your project or requirements.