Bayworth Manor Farm

AAAHS carried out a geophysical survey and excavations at Bayworth Manor Farm in 2003. This was the site of a medieval manor house, with a chapel, which belonged to Abingdon Abbey in medieval times. The house was in ruins by 1727 and was later demolished. The excavations found floors and stone wall foundations, and debris from the demolition of buildings. A well, a paved courtyard and a paved path were also found. Some medieval pottery of the 11th or 12th century AD was found. Bayworth is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086.

Well and paved area, Bayworth Manor Farm
Paved area at Bayworth Manor Farm

51 East St Helen Street

A watching brief was carried out out in 2012, on construction work in the back garden of a house in East Saint Helen Street. Roman and medieval pottery, medieval and post-medieval pits, walls and pottery, and a stone-lined well which had been capped in Victorian or later times were found. One pit contained a large quantity of early 19th century broken wine bottles, plates and tankards. This led to a suggestion that the property might have been a public house at one time.

Bury Street precinct (Queen Street car park)

A small excavation was carried out when one of the shops in the Bury Street precinct was extended at the rear. Roman pits and Roman pottery dating to the 2nd to 4th centuries AD were found. Pits and domestic rubbish dating to the 12th to 16th centuries were also found.

Waste Court (Austin House), Bath Street

An archaeological trench was dug by Oxford Archaeology in 2019, ahead of a development by Abingdon School. The development was to extend Austin House (previously known as Bath Street), a boarding house of the school in Bath Street.

Pits and ditches, and domestic rubbish of the medieval and post-medieval periods, were found. Some of the pits seem to have been the result of post-medieval quarrying for gravel.

Roman burials had previously been found nearby, but no Roman material was found in this excavation.

Drayton ‘Cursus’

Excavations of the ‘Drayton cursus’, an enigmatic Neolithic monument, were carried out AAAHS and Oxford Archaeology ahead of gravel quarrying south of Abingdon the 1980s.

‘Cursuses’ (which take their name from a Latin word meaning a race-track) consist of a pair of parallel ditches, which can run across the landscape for many kilometres. Their function is unknown, but they may have been used for processions or other ceremonies.

The Drayton cursus runs from south-east of Drayton village towards Abingdon. Its northern end has not been located, but the monument was at least 1.5 kilometres long.

Other things found during these excavations included a Roman trackway and field boundaries, and an early Saxon building.


Thrupp Cottage, Thrupp, Radley

Excavations in the garden of Thrupp Cottage in 2002 to 2004 found pottery and the stone foundations of two buildings. Most of the pottery was medieval or later in date, but some of it may be Late Saxon.

Thrupp is a hamlet in the parish of Radley. Today it consists of just three houses, but it was once much larger. In medieval times, Thrupp belonged to Abingdon Abbey, and the hamlet supplied cheese and eels to the abbey.


Fairlawn Wharf

A small excavation by AAAHS in 1969 revealed a stone wall, built partly over a stone-lined well. The trench was 8 feet (about 2.4 metres) square. Medieval pottery, dating to the 12th and 13th centuries, was also found.

October House

Archaeological observations were made when foundations were dug for a house extension. Roman pottery, a Roman wall, and demolition debris from Abingdon Abbey were found. A large quantity of 17th century pottery, including cups and mugs, and clay tobacco pipes, were also found. This led to a suggestion that there may have been a tavern on the site, although there is no historical evidence for a tavern here.

Red Lion, Vineyard

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.

South of the Vineyard

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.