David A Hinton and D P S Peacock
The Highfield Press, £20
Review Derek Hurst
The report on this significant site is most welcome. While earlier and later prehistoric features were present, as well as a small Roman cemetery, the chief interest lies with the mid-Saxon oven/grain-dryer complex. This feature was clearly explored most determinedly, with its excavation involving burrowing under the boundary wall of the adjacent rectory. On abandonment, the oven was deliberately backfilled with possibly midden material, producing a notable assemblage of artefacts.
The careful weaving together of both the archaeological and historical evidence successfully sheds light on the mid- to late-Saxon era locally. Fresh analyses of the finds have also been carried out, including stable isotope analysis of the human remains (with intriguing results).
All in all, this is an excellent example of how a small site at a key location, with the right treatment, can be very informative. How fortunate we are that David Peacock took this opportunity back in 1967, and, with the assistance of Birmingham University staff and the local community, was able to rescue this site for posterity.