This report summarises the results of the Work Phase of the archaeological evaluation carried out by the West Essex Archaeological Group and the Wanstead Parklands Community Project on Wanstead Park, Epping Forest in the London Borough of Redbridge.
The programme of work was initiated by the Wanstead Park Community Project with the support of the West Essex Archaeological Group. The overall aim of the project was to increase the knowledge af the archaeology of the Plain; an open area on the south side of Wanstead park. It was also hoped to be able to add further knowledge regarding the whereabouts in the Park of a Roman villa, suggested by the discovery in 1715 of a lavish mosaic.
Relevant licences were received, on application, from the City of London and work has been carried out intermittently since 2007.
An initial work Phase of geophysics was carried out in 2007-8 over the Plain. Magnetometery and Ground Penetrating Radar surveys were carried out in unison and the results revealed an active archaeological landscape beneath the surface of the Plain. Geological formations were also identified. An auger survey complemented the geophysical survey. This was carried out by the Museum of London Archaeology
Interpretation of the geophysical results was hampered by a lack of knowledge of the depths of the archaeological remains in other areas of the Plain. Therefore, six evaluation trenches were excavated in 2008 at various locations. These revealed the nature of the natural geology as well as indicating the presence of cut features, of pre-Roman date. All of these features were seen in section only.
A further limited programme of evaluation trenches was carried out in 2009 to examine archaeological features in a plan order to assess survival of archaeological deposits. These reveal a ditch of late Iron Age or Roman date as well as a number of linear Roman features.
The full report Wanstead Park. Archaeological Evaluation 2007-09 can be viewed in PDF format. This may take a few minutes to download.