Late Iron Age/Roman charcoal processing in the New Forest: excavation of a platform site at Leadenhall, Godshill, 2015

Tony King, Zoe Hazell, Steve Moody

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As part of its survey work in the Open Forest, the New Forest History and Archaeology Group located a circular feature terraced into the valley side at Cockley Bushes, Leadenhall (NGR SU 198155). This appeared to be similar to later prehistoric house platforms, but was a single example rather than the groups of such monuments as usually found. The site was excavated in August 2015, with the unexpected result that the platform was not for habitation, but appeared to be linked to charcoal-processing. Finds were very few, being limited to a small number of struck flakes and a quantity of fire-affected flint. Large pieces of charcoal were also recovered, and radiocarbon dated to 2046 ± 35 BP and 1939 ± 35 BP, placing the site into the Late Iron Age to Early Roman period. A second platform was surveyed, c. 100 m to the east, and a third identified in the Cockley Bushes area, but not surveyed. These ‘Platform Sites’ are a new monument type for the Forest, and suggest that charcoal preparation and processing was the primary activity associated with them. The excavation also uncovered an earlier pit-and-mound feature which was similar to the many examples now known across the Forest, and which have been the subject of a separate research project by NFHAG.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
JournalProc. Hampshire Field Club Archaeol. Soc.
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2017


  • New Forest
  • charcoal-processing
  • Late Iron Age
  • Early Roman period

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