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February 2010 - Recent discoveries in South Bucks quarries

  

Excavating a Roman corn drying kiln at The LeaBuckinghamshire County Council is the Minerals Planning Authority responsible for the control of mineral extraction within the county.  The Council has published the Mineral and Waste Local Plan 2004-16, which sets out policies to regulate extraction.  Sand and gravel are the main minerals quarried; they are used as aggregate by the construction industry.  Workable reserves are found mainly in the south of the county where over hundreds of thousands of years the River Thames and its tributaries have laid down deep deposits. 

 

Location of featured quarriesOne of the environmental considerations the Council and quarry companies have to address is the impact of extraction on archaeological remains.  Archaeological remains are commonly found on sand and gravel so it is rarely possible for large quarries to avoid all archaeological sites.  However, quarry companies are required to commission archaeological surveys and excavation of sites which would be harmed. 

 

The posters below summarise recent investigations at four quarries in South Buckinghamshire.  These projects have transformed our understanding of prehistoric and Roman settlement in the area. 

 

Denham Quarry has the county’s earliest known hunter-gatherer camp-sites dating to just after the end of the last Ice Age.  Dorney Rowing Lake revealed the settlements of Britain’s first farmers alongside the river and the later remains of Iron Age timber bridges built across it.  Dorney and the Lea have the county’s first fields; laid out in the Bronze Age whilst the Lea and Wexham show more intensive agricultural use in the Roman period.

         Excavating a hunter-gatherer site at Denham quarry          Iron Age timber bridge supports at Dorney          Large Roman pit at Wexham quarry

Click on the links below to open the pdf posters.  More information about Minerals and Waste Planning is available on the Council's webpages.