Two human skeletons were found on a building site in Clevelands in 1973. They had been buried in shallow graves. One skeleton was of a middle-aged man, the other of an old man. They were thought likely to be Iron Age or Roman in date.

River Thames

An Iron Age sword in a bronze scabbard was found when dredging the Thames below Abingdon Lock in 1969. It is now in Reading Museum (with thanks to Angela Houghton for providing the photograph of the sword).

Iron Age sword in bronze scabbard from the Thames at Abingdon. (c) Reading Museum

West St Helen Street

An excavation in 1971, during the building of the St Helen’s Court estate, found two late Iron Age or early Roman pits, a medieval ditch and a stone cellar.

Fitzharris Arms

Remains of a Roman building, dating to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, were investigated during builoding work here in 2012. Industrial waste (slag) suggests that it could have been a smithy or workshop. Early Iron Age pottery was also found.


AAAHS excavations in advance of gravel quarrying between 1970 and 1984 found traces of Iron Age farming settlements overlooking the Thames floodplain. Some early Roman pottery and ditches were also found.

Lombard Street (West St Helen Street)

An excavation on a vacant plot in 1972, before the Salvation Army Citadel was built, found an Iron Age posthole, an Iron Age pit containing horse skulls, a Roman ditch, foundations of a medieval building, medieval and later rubbish pits and a deep build-up of soil in a former garden.

St Helen’s Mews

Salvage excavations when St Helen’s Mews was being built found an Iron Age ditch or gully, Roman and medieval rubbish pits, and the walls of a stone cellar, next to East Saint Helen Street. Rubbish pits and other features were seen elsewhere on the site.

West Central Redevelopment Area

Oxford Archaeology excavated on the site of the Regal Cinema and Southern Electricity Board depot, in advance of redevelopment.

Discoveries included the ditches of the Iron Age oppidum, a medieval building, a small cemetery which may be medieval, and remains of medieval and later occupation of the area.