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A Romano-British rural site at Long Lane Playing Fields, Ickenham

David Lakin

Excavations at Long Lane Playing Fields, Ickenham, produced slight evidence for a settlement of late Iron Age date superseded in the late 1st century AD by an extensive multi-phase field system. One of these phases denotes a comprehensive reorganisation of the landscape, with the imposition of a rigidly rectilinear grid of boundary ditches. The latest modification to the field system can be dated to the mid 2nd century, although later activity on the site is indicated by a substantial surface scatter of 3rd and 4th-century pottery.

The importance of this site lies in the contribution it can make – in conjunction with similar recently excavated sites – to our knowledge of the Roman settlement pattern in London’s hinterland. Whereas it was previously thought that this entire area of north-west London was unsuitable for settlement owing to the presence of London Clay, this site – which lies on brickearth – demonstrates that localised variations in the drift geology can occur and, therefore, that pockets of Roman occupation can be anticipated.

[Transactions 45 (1994), pp 1 – 12; published abstract, slightly augmented]

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