A505 Baldock Bypass, Herts

bal953 aurochs skull.jpg
bal953 barrows.jpg
bal953 ditches.jpg

Earliest feature

One of the earliest features encountered was a pit containing a deliberately buried skull of an aurochs, the now extinct ancestor of the ox.

Bronze age barrows

Towards the northern end of the site, a total of seven Bronze Age barrows, or burial mounds, were revealed. Although heavily damaged by later ploughing, one barrow still contained a cremation urn. 
The barrow cemetery remained an important feature in the landscape for over a thousand years and both cremations and inhumations continued to be placed in, or near, the barrow ditches in the late Iron Age and early Roman period. Evidence of late Iron Age and early Roman occupation includes a roundhouse, two trackways or roads, and field boundary ditches. A range of late Iron Age and early Roman coinage was also found.

A medieval hospital

Remains of an enclosure ditch and cemetery are thought to be part of the Hospital of St Mary Magdalene, established around AD1200 for the care of those sick and dying of leprosy.

Bomb craters

The latest evidence consisted of a series of large bomb craters and two German Luftwaffe incendiary bombs, left over from the Second World War. The British Army kindly removed these.

Alan Ferguson