Archaeological observations were made when new houses were built on the site of the Red Lion pub in the Vineyard. Bronze Age pits, medieval rubbish pits and quarry pits, and the back wall of a post-medieval building were recorded. The building, which would have fronted onto the Vineyard, had a possible industrial hearth.
Three ‘ring ditches’, probably the sites of Bronze Age barrows (burial mounds) and part of a square or rectangular enclosure which may be Roman, along with other features, have been seen as cropmarks just south of Rye Farm on Andersey island. They have not been excavated.
These features are visible on the ‘Satellite View’ map layer, as dark marks in the crop.
Oxford Archaeology excavated six areas before redevelopment of sites in the Vineyard. Discoveries included traces of an Iron Age settlement, Roman burials, medieval rubbish pits and property boundaries, and three large ditches which were part of a defence from the English Civil War in the 1640s.
A Bronze Age pottery ‘Beaker’ was found in a gravel quarry at Cowley Concrete Ltd in 1937. Three Bronze Age skeletons were found about 100 yards away in the following year. The Beaker is now in the Ashmolean Museum.
A Bronze Age pottery ‘collared urn’ was found, close to a skeleton, in a gravel quarry on Radley Road in 1863. Other skeletons, and ancient ditches, were also found. The exact location is now unknown, but it may have been in the vicinity of Galleyfields. The urn is now in the British Museum.
One of the most important excavations in Abingdon took place in the early 1980s at what is now Gardiner Close and Eason Drive.
A Neolithic barrow, several Bronze Age barrows and burials, a Roman cemetery and an Anglo-Saxon village were excavated. Some of the earliest metal objects from the British Isles (three small copper rings, dated to about 2500 BC), was found in this work.