Fox Covert - 2005
A large scale open area excavation was undertaken on land at Fox Covert near Dinnington, prior to opencast mining by HJ Banks and Company Limited. A number of archaeological features from three main periods of activiy were recorded at the site. The earliest phase of activity was represented by a pit alignment that extended across the length of the site heading towards Prestwick Carr which lay to the south of the site. Scientific dating suggests that the feature remained open for a considerable period of time from the late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age up to the Romano-British period.
There was a hiatus of activity on the site after the pit alignment fell out of use until an enclosure or boundary ditch, radiocarbon dated to the tenth century was excavated in the south west corner of the site. The main period of activity occurred when the landscape was dramatically reorganised with the creation of a monastic farm or grange owned by the Cistercian abbey of Newminster. The grange consisted of a system of ditches delineating a number of enclosures on the western side of a cobbled road which headed towards Prestwick Carr and its turbaries (peat diggings). Two of the enclosures contained evidence of occupation, and the remains possibly associated with the systematic processing of hemp.